Two days after WarnerMedia started an investigation into claims of improper behavior by Kevin Tsujihara, the Warner Bros Entertainment chair just now addressed the matter himself in a letter to studio staff.
“I deeply regret that I have made mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most,” said Tsujihara in the memo sent out at 11:14 AM Friday morning.
“I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you,” the exec added, promising to “cooperate” with the latest outside law firm-led investigation. “I realized some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better,” Tsujihara declares. “That journey continues.” (READ TSUJIHARA’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW)
The memo also informs WB employees that in the spirit of creating “a workplace where everyone feels included and heard,” Tsujihara has “asked HR to make additional accommodations if anyone needs to talk.”
The correspondence comes as the studio boss faces claims that he promoted actress Charlotte Kirk for roles in WB projects as the two were having an extramarital relationship.
Having already looked into the allegations before when they first percolated in media circles a few months back, WarnerMedia intend to be comprehensive but also fairly quick in this new investigation, I hear.
“Through her spokesperson, the actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise,” said a WarnerMedia spokesperson on March 6 as tawdry texts and other material allegedly between Tsujihara and Kirk became public. “Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation,” the media giant added. “And that is what we will do here.”
“Mr. Tsujihara did not have a direct role in the actress being cast in any movie,” said the WB CEO’s attorney Bert Deixler at the same time.
Despite Kirk’s own denial of anything underhanded, what makes any probe all the more urgent in this #metoo era is the fact that Tsujihara has seen his position expanded as a part of the new bosses AT&T’s $85 billion purchase and reorganization of the company once know as Time Warner. In addition to his WB duties, Tsujihara will also now multi-task even more as the head of a new global kids and young adults business for WarnerMedia.
The WB CEO is one of many veteran industry hands that AT&T are trusting their new bauble with. Former NBCUniversal chair Bob Greenblatt has been anointed Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. Also, raised up around the same time as Tsujihara, CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker will now be Chairman of WarnerMedia News & Sports and Kevin Reilly is President TBS, TNT and Chief Creative Officer Turner and Direct-to-Consumer.
HERE IS KEVIN TSUJIHARA’S FULL STATEMENT:
By now, you’ve all seen the news reports from earlier this week.
I deeply regret that I have made mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most. I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you. I realized some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better. That journey continues.
I am so proud of the great work you do every day. Together, we have built a company that is the gold standard in our industry. Warner Bros.’ culture is as important to our success as our business model. We need to continue the hard work we’ve done over the years to create a workplace where everyone feels included and heard. To that end, I’ve asked HR to make additional accommodations if anyone needs to talk.
Since WarnerMedia’s leadership became aware of details surrounding this situation some time ago, it has carefully reviewed the matter and handled appropriately, including having engaged a third-party law firm to conduct a series of inquiries. Following these most recent news reports, the company will again work with a third-party law firm to review the situation, and I will cooperate fully with this investigation.
Please don’t let my mistakes become a distraction. It’s important that we all stay focused on our work—and part of that is creating a culture and company of which we can all be proud. Thank you all for everything you do to make that happen every day.