TeachU's Chris Reich: Sony has ethics problems.
TeachU is a 3Es company. That means we base the things we do on three important business pillars: Education, Ethics and Excellence.
When a business has a problem, we look for an education solution first. We look for ethics issues as well and we strive to achieve excellence in all things.
Sony has a serious ethics problem. That problem is going to cost Sony millions of dollars. In fact, it could get into the billions before this whole “Interview” fiasco is over.
Actually, Sony has so many ethics issues I’m not sure where to start.
Let’s begin with the idea about making a movie about killing a foreign head of state. We’re not talking about a bit joke involving exploding cigars and Castro. The Interview is an entire movie about killing the leader of North Korea. That’s funny. No, no it isn’t.
I saw Seth Rogen on one of those joke news shows (Colbert?). He was asked why they didn’t use a fictitious country for the film. His answer? “It wouldn’t have been as funny.” Yuck yuck yuck.
I don’t think they’re laughing over at Sony but Rodman’s best buddy is sure getting a laugh out of this.
Is it ethical to make a movie about killing a real person? Certainly the leader of North Korea is a comical character but he’s a comical character with nuclear weapons. Sony wanted maximum sales so they went “real”. That’s greed and that’s ethics slip number 1.
North Korea hacks Sony’s website over this hack movie, now hacked movie, and what do they get? The hackers get a major bonus as they discover and publish the racist exchange between Sony executives Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal. Both of those people belong in the unemployment lines. The racist exchange is ethics violation number 2. Sony’s decision to keep those two immature idiots on the payroll is ethics slip number 3.
Set up for Cut Away…
If I was was a movie producer…
Hey Sony! Here’s an idea for a really funny “film”. In the business, we call them films. It’s about a big movie company that gets enmeshed in scandal and international intrigue while losing millions of dollars! The laughs come fast at the awkward White House dinner when it comes to light that two of the attendees were passing racist emails about the black president! Oh god that’s funny stuff.The head of the imaginary company, Mr. Me No Know (nothing racist there, right?) tries to talk his way out of every jam with a hilarious Japanese accent! “Me No Know!” “Yes, we know your name but when did you know?” “No! not We Know, Me NO Know!”  My sides ache.
You see folks, ethics matter.
Sony will spin this into a hacker issue and a dangerous threat to our security. Both true. But let’s not take the spotlight off of all the fine folks at Sony who wrote, approved, produced, directed and starred in this very stupid and unethical movie.
I just realized an opportunity for a prequel! Let’s call it “The Million Dollar Hit”!  See, that’s a play on words because it’s not about a hit on the leader of North Korea but it’s really about Sony losing a lot of money! Funny, funny stuff.
I remember when the Japanese used to worry about losing “face”. There’s an air bag company in Japan that sold us a bunch of exploding air bags and they are opposing a recall. Sony thinks racist movie executives are a-okay by them. And Sony thinks movies about killing heads of state are funny.
Well Sony, you need some work on your company ethics.
Chris Reich, CEO
Author’s note: Please keep in mind when this was written. I cannot say whether Sony has addressed these issues or not. The point is that ethics matter in business.