Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal will NOT step down ... and we're told there has been a groundswell of celebrity support for her to keep her job.
Our industry sources tell TMZ ... more than 50 showbiz bigwigs -- many of whom are celebrities -- have contacted Pascal and other honchos at Sony voicing support for her. Ironically, a number of the supporters voice their sentiment via email to various execs at Sony.
We're told the celebs who have come forward include Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Singleton, Jack Nicholson and Tyler Perry. As for that pic of Jolie with the steely look as Pascal hugged her ... we're told it was just a moment in time.
We're told Pascal is winning some points by spending much of her time in the last few days focusing on the security and safety of the employees.
Pascal is under fire for her emails with producer Scott Rudin about Prez Obama's film preferences, which Rudin said ranged from "12 Years a Slave" to "Ride Along."
The people voicing support have gone out of their way to say they do not think Pascal is racist.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
I've Reached A Verdict on O.J.
12/17/2014 7:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cuba Gooding Jr. is already stepping into OJ Simpson's Bruno Magli's ... and he's made up his mind about whether the Juice is guilty of murder.
Outside the Paley Center in NYC ... Cuba told us he's excited about playing Simpson in Ryan Murphy's miniseries “American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson." But to really nail the role, Cuba says he has to go all in -- which raises the million dollar question.
Watch the video -- Cuba gives us an answer. It's cryptic, but telling.
So, we gotta ask ...
Confesses to Sexual Abuse
'I Did Something Terribly Wrong'
12/17/2014 6:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins is publicly acknowledging he sexually abused three underage girls, but he says, "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the last 20 years.
Collins made his comments to People -- and will sit down for an interview with Katie Couric -- where he will discuss his confession about molesting and/or exposing himself to 3 underage girls decades ago.
He writes, "Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since."
Collins says he apologized to one of the victims 15 years ago, but decided against contacting the other two because he thought it "could actually make things worse for them by opening old wounds."
Law enforcement has been investigating the incidents, but our sources say the cases will go nowhere because the statute of limitations has long since run.
Patrick Schwarzenegger's Fooling Everyone ...
He's a Party Animal
12/17/2014 5:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger took Miami by storm together, but don't get it twisted -- one of them is fueling that party train more than the other... according to their pal Cody Simpson.
The Aussie pop star was shopping at Cotton On in Santa Monica, and talking about his New Year's party plan (he's got a great one) ... which got us on Patrick, Miley, and Cody's raging times at Art Basel last week on South Beach.
We asked who goes harder in the club -- and he backs up what TMZ first told you a couple weeks ago.
You gotta hear Cody gush about Patrick though -- bromance in full bloom.
Sony Hacking Scandal
Execs Convinced It's an Inside Job
12/17/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sony execs are now convinced someone who worked for the studio is behind the massive hacking ... because no one from the outside could so precisely target the compromising information.
Multiple sources connected to the studio tell TMZ ... the strong, prevailing view is that the North Koreans are probably involved, but they used someone with intimate knowledge of the Sony email system to laser in on the most embarrassing information.
We're told the people at Sony who are investigating believe the hackers had intimate knowledge of mail systems and their configurations. They also believe the hackers have knowledge of the internal media distribution systems and the internal IT systems, including human resources and payroll.
Several people suggested a possible link between the hackers and Sony layoffs, which included a large number of IT employees.
I Won't Live in L.A.
But I Love Visiting
12/17/2014 7:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan vowed to never again live in L.A. ... and days later she's here.
Lindsay crossed the pond and skipped NYC -- where she plans on living with her sister Ali -- and blew into L.A. Tuesday night.
We thought she might be here to perform some community service to fulfill her probation, but we've learned that's not the case. So the only real thing left is to party.
And you thought the storms were rough. Welcome back, Lindsay.
NYC Premiere Cancelled
12/16/2014 9:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
On the same day the Sony hackers made a 9/11 scale threat against theaters showing "The Interview" -- the New York premiere of Seth Rogen and James Franco's movie has been scrapped.
A rep for the Landmark Sunshine Cinema confirms Thursday's scheduled premiere is cancelled. It's unclear if the event will be rescheduled.
This is the first cancellation for an event surrounding the controversial movie. The Hollywood premiere went on as planned last week, but they didn't do any red carpet interviews.
As TMZ first reported ... the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security doesn't view the latest threats as credible.
Sony is letting theaters decide whether to play the movie -- leaving the door open for big financial losses.
B-Day Party Sold a Load of S**t
12/17/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Not everybody was hatin' on Taylor Swift's celeb-crammed 25TH b-day bash in NYC -- a toy company just made a crap ton of money off it thanks to Justin Timberlake.
Turns out the takeaway from Taylor's now famous IG shot -- with Beyonce, Jay Z, Sam Smith, Haim, and JT -- was the poop emoji mask on Justin.
The people who make JT's turd face say they've seen a huge spike in sales since Taylor posted the shot. A rep for BigMouth Inc. tells TMZ they've seen a 315% increase and are almost sold out.
So, yeah ... #2 is now #1 on the charts.
Cards Fan Giving Up Memorabilia Stash
To Help Oscar's Family
12/17/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The family of late Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras has some cash headed their way ... all thanks to a longtime fan who's auctioning off his treasured souvenirs.
Taveras got his first taste of the majors this season, but he made a huge impression on a Cards fan. TMZ Sports has learned the guy -- who wants to remain anonymous -- bought a bunch of Taveras memorabilia ... just one day before the 22-year-old died in a car accident.
We're told the items include -- Oscar's first home run ball, cleats from his first big league game, and a game worn post-season jersey ... all autographed and going up for auction.
We're told the fan decided to unload the merch through Goldin Auctions -- so he can donate all the profits to Oscar's family in the Dominican Republic. The auction will open on January 12th.
There's a reason Cardinals fans are known as the best in baseball.
The Game and YG
The Grammys Hate Gangster Rappers
12/17/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The Game and YG think the Grammys are rigged ... because gangster rappers are getting screwed over.
Game tells TMZ ... people at the Grammys "don't respect our culture or our music. Unless we cross over, we ain't winning s**t."
YG is incredulous ... his album, "My Krazy Life," debuted at #1 on Billboard yet he didn't get a single nomination. He told Big Boy Tuesday his music was way better than most, but he wouldn't be specific.
The irony ... both YG and Game think the Grammys shut out any rapper who is not mainstream, which is ironic given that YG sold more albums than just about anyone in the rap category in 2014.
Game's parting shot ... "We can’t even get police convicted of coldblooded murder, so we definitely ain't winning no f**king Grammy."
Sex Tape Off the Market
12/17/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sorry, celebrity porn fans ... looks like the tape featuring Wiz Khalifa and a Playboy model will not see the light of day ... because she's had a change of heart about selling it.
TMZ first reported ... Khalifa and Carla Howe filmed a home porn which Howe tried hawking, but Khalifa pitched a fit.
According to our sources, Howe had a meeting set with Vivid Entertainment -- which was prepared to make a big offer -- but she was a no-show.
We're told Wiz and Carla talked it out and eventually agreed not to release the tape. We don't know the terms of the agreement.
That's a little cynical, but ...
In other news...
It's no secret Kim Kardashian likes attention, so we were shocked when she headed to the gym wearing this outfit.SEE MORE »
"Grandma Got Run Over"
SINGER DR. ELMO
12/17/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Dr. Elmo Shropshire is best known for his early '80s holiday novelty song -- which has sold over eleven million copies -- and now Christmas classic "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." Guess what he looks like now!
Tyler Perry Star Tasha Smith
Getting the Big D
... And Paying For It
12/17/2014 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Actress Tasha Smith has jumped from filing a restraining order against her estranged husband ... to slapping him with divorce papers ... and right off the bat it's costing her a bundle of cash.
The "Why Did I Get Married?" star sought the split after she and Keith Douglas filed dueling TROs against each other -- and since she's the bread winner in the family ... the judge is making her pay him $50k in spousal support up front.
We broke the stories ... a judge ordered Smith to stay a bizarre 2 yards away from Douglas -- while they were estranged, but still shacking up in the same house. A week later she filed similar docs to get protection from him.
They'll be back in court next month for the restraining orders. As for the $50k payment -- we're told that's just to hold Douglas over until a permanent support agreement is hammered out in divorce court.
Tyler Perry and his 'WDIGM?' writers should be taking notes.