In ABC's hit series Scandal, Kerry Washington's character, Olivia Pope, can remedy any situation: covering up an affair with the president, concealing election-fixing, helping a dictator find his kidnapped family and hiding murder in the upper echelons of American political life.
Now, the woman who inspired Shonda Rhimes' hit show and who is the foundation for Washington's breakthrough performance as Pope, Judy Smith, is one of Sony Picture's new consultants as it struggles to deal with the fallout from the hacking of the company's emails and the temporary suspension of the broadcast of its film, The Interview.
With her website dubbing her "America's number one crisis management expert", Smith is clearly needed by the head of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal, who has come under fire for leaked emails which reveal disparaging remarks about many Hollywood actors as well as President Barack Obama.
Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogan, a comedy that revolves around the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after receiving threats of terrorist attacks from hackers. Before that, the hackers had exposed many private emails from Sony as well as information like Social Security numbers.
US federal investigators have connected the hackings to North Korea. The US alleges was carried out by North Korea and perhaps with Chinese help.
The US has reached out to China, North Korea's key ally, for help as President Obama weighs possible responses to the cyber attack.
There are at least two other public relations firms helping Sony as well as Smith.
Smith was formerly George H W Bush's deputy press secretary before starting her firm, Smith & Company, and has had many high-profile clients like Monica Lewinsky and Wesley Snipes.Reuse content