BURBANK—Warner Bros., CEO Kevin Tsujihara, 54, resigned on Monday, March 18, after an investigation revealed inappropriate text messages between Tsjujihara and British actress Charlotte Kirk, 26.
Tsujihahra allegedly engaged in sexual relationship with Kirk in return to boost her career by helping her get roles in films, for television shows and meetings with Burbank studio executives.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stanley explained in a public statement on Tuesday, March 20, regarding Tsujihara’s decision to step-down, “We are doing this to ensure minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of the studio and to provide the time we need to conduct a thorough search to find the best candidate to lead this incredible and storied business to its next chapter of growth and success. My priority is to install leadership that sustains the direction and priorities of the organization — not dramatically change course.” He added, “Our creative and business partners deserve this. Our company and you deserve no less.”
In 2018, Kirk appeared in minor film roles for “Ocean’s 8” and in 2016’s “How to Be Single.” Tsujihara allegedly did not have a direct influence on the actress appearing in the films.
The Hollywood Reporter first published the text messages between Kirk and Tsujihara in a March 6 article dating back to conversations from 2014 conversation that triggered the investigation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, on March 3, 2015, Kirk texted Tsujihara, “You’re very busy I know but when we were in that motel having sex u said u would help me and when u just ignore me like you’re doing now it makes me feel used. Are u going to help me like u said u would?”
Tsujihara responded: “Sorry you feel that way. Richard will be reaching out to u tonight.”
Tsujihara was recently promoted to oversee animation, including Cartoon Network for WarnerMedia, after the company produced two 2018 hits “Crazy Rich Asians,” which grossed worldwide $238.5 million, and “Aquaman,” earning over $1 billion at globally.
A successor for Tsujihara has not been announced. Temporary staff executives Toby Emmerich, television president Peter Roth and Chief Financial Officer Kim Williams are assigned to fulfill the studio needs until a new CEO is appointed.