Warner Bros. CEO says sorry for 'mistakes'

Kevin Tsujihara has apologised to Warner Bros. staff as he faces the fallout from a sex scandal.
Kevin Tsujihara has apologised to Warner Bros. staff as he faces the fallout from a sex scandal.

Embattled Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has apologised to staff following the publication of a report alleging that he helped a woman get auditions after they had engaged in a sexual relationship.

Australian billionaire James Packer was dragged into the scandal after it emerged he introduced the pair.

"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," Tsujihara wrote in a note to staff on Friday.

"I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you. I realised some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better. That journey continues."

Tsujihara's position at the studio behind The Dark Knight and Harry Potter is in question in the wake of a salacious story in The Hollywood Reporter that claimed that Charlotte Kirk, an aspiring actress, had leveraged her extramarital affair with the executive to get readings with casting agents on the studio's projects.

Kirk denied that Tsujihara engaged in "inappropriate behaviour"; through a lawyer, Tsujihara denied that he had any "direct role" in the hiring of Kirk on Warner releases such as Ocean's 8.

WarnerMedia, the studio's parent company, is investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct. The story was seen as another example of a "casting couch" culture in Hollywood -- one in which powerful men have abused their positions and traded sex for access to opportunities.

The Reporter story contained text messages between Tsujihara and Kirk that implied the married executive had been in a relationship with the actress.

It also contained messages between Kirk and Packer and Brett Ratner, the heads of RatPac Dune, a film financier that had a distribution and co-financing deal with Warner Bros.

Packer made a statement, saying he and Kirk once had a "brief relationship".

"We had a brief relationship and I tried to help her career. I genuinely only ever had good intentions for Charlotte."

Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women. RatPac's deal with Warner Bros. ended in 2018.

Tsujihara has been seen on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank this week after the story was published. He has not been suspended while the investigation unfolds. In his note, Tsujihara said the investigation will be conducted by a third-party law firm.

"Please don't let my mistakes become a distraction," Tsujihara wrote. "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."

The news that Tsujihara may have engaged in sexual misconduct came days after he received a promotion by WarnerMedia, one that gave him oversight of family and kids programming.

Australian Associated Press