by Rebecca Ford 12/19/2014 4:24pm PDT Sony has hired crisis management expert Judy Smith — the inspiration for Kerry Washington's Scandal character, Olivia Pope — to help advise Amy Pascal and the studio on its message and next steps, THR has confirmed.
On Friday, after President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release, Sony issued a statement elaborating on their choice to pull The Interview from theaters after the nation's largest theater chains decided not to screen the film.
"The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation's theater owners choosing not to screen the film," the statement said. "This was their decision."
Smith previously worked as deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush before starting her own crisis management firm, Smith & Company. Her website states she's on "speed dial for some of the highest-profile celebrities, politicians and corporations in the world." Her past clients have included Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes and NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
Smith's life is the inspiration for the lead character on ABC's Scandal, a popular show about a political fixer. Smith is a co-executive producer on the show.