Why you should be careful with your email comments
December 15, 2014
Have you heard the one of the North Korean dictator, the Hollywood giant and a whole lot of actors that are not happy with emails that have come to light showing they may be a little 'dramatic'?
Well, if your head has been buried in the sand for the last few weeks then you might have missed it.
Basically Sony Pictures had a script that took a little comedic look at the assassination of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. They decide "yeah this could work" and they go ahead and make the movie. The movie is geared for release and so offended are the North Koreans all of a sudden Sony' s email system is hacked and what happens next would leave any executives head spin - what happened next? well, it seems that while the Sony Executives like to hang out with various celebrities it didn't mean they liked them! In other words, emails doing the internal rounds within Sony talked about what they really thought of the very people that made them all a lot of money at the box office - and the hackers released them!
In one exchange executives talk about Leonardo di Caprio exiting a doomed movie about Steve Jobs: (Amy Pascal is co-chair of Sony and Mark Gordon was the produce on the movie)
“Was this about the deal…or did he just change his mind,” Gordon wrote.
“The latter,” Pascal replied.
“Horrible behavior,” Gordon said.
“Actually despicable,” Pascal responded
Sony executives also took aim at Wil Smith for homeschooling his kids and well, its not too flattering when George Clooney appears to be an apologetic blubbering mess over his thinking that his movie The Monuments Men was an epic failure - of course, if George runs for office in the future this blubbering exchange won't be a good look!
So, what can we all learn from this sad affair? Well, lets keep it brief.
If you wouldn't say it to someone's face then don't do it in an email. Email exchanges are always up for grabs and few people realize they can soon become a matter of public record. What's worse- there is no guarantee that what you say, the style in which you say it and why you said it won't come back to haunt you. If you're a manager, an executive or a business owner then the one thing you want to be sure of is that your people are not passing commentary of your stakeholders, clients or partners over email.
People, time for a little etiquette ... and, i actually thought Monuments Men wasn't that bad!
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