Paramount TV President Amy Powell fired for inappropriate comments

Five years after she was hired to head Paramount TV, Amy Powell has been fired. Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos announced the move to staff in an internal memo Thursday.

In the memo, Gianopulos noted “multiple individuals” who raised “concerns around comments” made by Powell in a “professional setting, which they believed were inconsistent” with Viacom’s values.

“Having spent the past several days conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and speaking to those who were present, our Human Resources and Legal teams came to the same conclusion, and we have made the decision to terminate Amy’s employment, effective immediately,” Gianopulos wrote.

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Gianopulos did not provide details, but sources say her termination was due to racially insensitive comments.

Powell was named President of Paramount Television in 2013, adding those responsibilities to her position at that time as as head of Digital Entertainment and Insurge Pictures.

Paramount TVs slate includes the upcoming Tom Clancys "Jack Ryan" starring John Krasinski on Amazon; "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix; "Catch-22", a six-part Hulu series from Paramount Television, Anonymous Content, George Clooney and Grant Heslov; "The Alienist" on TNT; "First Wives Club," debuting on Paramount Network in 2019; "Shooter" on USA; crime drama Berlin Station on Epix with Anonymous Content; "The Haunting of Hill House" on Netflix with Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV; and "Maniac", a dark comedy series directed by Cary Fukunaga, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill for Netflix.

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Gianopulos’ memo follows in its entirety below:

Last week, multiple individuals came to us to raise concerns around comments made by Amy Powell in a professional setting, which they believed were inconsistent with our companys values. Having spent the past several days conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and speaking to those who were present, our Human Resources and Legal teams came to the same conclusion, and we have made the decision to terminate Amy’s employment, effective immediately.

Amy has made lasting contributions to Paramount in her 14 years with the company, including building a world-class team at Paramount TV. While it is incredibly difficult to part ways with a valued member of our community, it is imperative that we uphold our values and ensure that all employees feel safe and included in the workplace.

We will begin immediately looking for Amys replacement. In the interim, Andrew Gumpert, Paramounts Chief Operating Officer, will provide operational support and Mireille Soria, Brian Robbins and Wyck Godfrey — Presidents of Paramount Animation, Paramount Players and Paramount Motion Picture Group, respectively — will provide creative input, where needed, to the incredibly talented Paramount TV team, which is very well-placed to continue the incredible growth of this division.

Importantly, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the type of company and culture were committed to building at Paramount. Its one of inclusion, honesty and accountability where diversity is critical to ensuring that all ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are embraced and respected.

We will continue this conversation in smaller groups and on a companywide scale in the coming months and, in the meantime, I want us to take stock of where we are and explore what more we can do to foster a safe, supportive and inclusive workplace. Through direct engagement and an open dialogue, my hope is that we can undertake this progress together, in an environment where each and every one of our employees feels heard and valued.

Thank you for your continued hard work and ongoing contributions to this effort.

Best,
Jim

 

This story originally appeared in Deadline.