Warner Bros. Chief Is Ousted Over Relationship With Actress

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 18, 2019

Tsujihara, seen giving a presentation at CinemaCon 2015 in Las Vegas, was the first Asian-American to run a major Hollywood studio.

Only two days before the Hollywood Reporter published its story, Tsujihara was given an expanded, more powerful role as part of a restructuring of AT&T's WarnerMedia.

"Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company's leadership expectations and could impact the company's ability to execute going forward", said Stankey.

"It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.", WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said in a statement on Monday.

The texts revealed by The Hollywood Reporter show a quid pro quo type of relationship between Tsujihara and Kirk spanning years. "Together we've built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry".

Tsujihara was cleared in two previous internal investigations related to the matter since late 2017, the sources said.

Mr Tsujihara, who has headed the Burbank, California, studio since 2013, earlier apologised to Warner Bros staff for "mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most".

The move also means Time Warner's executive leadership has been wholly transformed since AT&T (T.N) acquired the business for US$85 billion previous year. The group is expected to include film chairman Toby Emmerich, TV President/CCO Peter Roth, and "at least" one other company executive, with a likelihood to be a female executive.

Warner Bros.is continuing to work with a third-party law firm to conclude its investigation with Tsujihara's cooperation, according to the statement.

Kirk has recently appeared in two Warner Brothers Films, How to be Single in 2016 and Ocean's 8 in 2018, although Tsujihara was not directly involved in her hiring in either case. Tsujihara has not directly addressed his relationship with the actress, whether they had sex, nor his involvement in helping her career.

Kirk confirmed that she had a romantic relationship with Packer - and communications with Tsujihara and Ratner.

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