Six things PR pros need to know Thursday morning, 12.14.2014

Entertainers react to Sony's decision to can 'The Interview;' Massachusetts Uber driver accused of rape; Advertisers flee 'Sorority Sisters;' Former Hillshire Brands comms leader to get back into PR business.

1. Hollywood actors reacted angrily Wednesday night to Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision to shelve The Interview after terrorist threats against audiences going to see the film. US government investigators also tied the cyberattack plaguing the studio for the past month to North Korea. The leaks from the hack are also forcing business executives to rethink what they say in emails out of fear of similar attacks.


2. A Massachusetts Uber driver was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he kidnapped and raped a woman who hailed a ride home using the service in Boston. After being shut down in New Delhi, India, after a driver there was charged with rape, the service is reassuring customers that it is strengthening its employee-screening process.

3. Former Hillshire Brands communications chief Jon Harris is transitioning out of his role as announcer for The Meredith Vieira Show back to the PR industry. He is consulting for several clients after moving back to Chicago.

4. The San Francisco 49ers released defensive tackle Ray McDonald after law-enforcement authorities said they were investigating him as part of a sexual assault case. NFL owners unanimously approved commissioner Roger Goodell’s new personal conduct policies for players  last week.

5. Advertisers including Honda are pulling ads from the VH1 reality show Sorority Sisters after complaints that it portrays traditionally black college sororities in a poor light. Opponents are using the #BoycottSororitySisters hashtag on social media.


6. Wendy’s said it will make a change at the CMO position next year as part of a broader management restructuring. Brandon Solano will replace Craig Bahner in the fast-food chain’s top marketing role next year.  

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