Before he could get too far, Stankey had to clear up a problem. Kevin Tsujihara, CEO of Warner Bros., had been accused of having an affair with an actress and then trying to get her work. Tsujihara was well-liked internally, and Stankey was torn over the situation.

The AT&T executive asked a handful of people internally and externally if they thought the situation was salvageable. One was Abrams’s wife. A former public relations executive at MTV and legislative aide to U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, McGrath has become an advocate for diversity and women’s rights in Hollywood.

She didn’t say Stankey had to fire Tsujihara — she said it would be tough for Bad Robot to remain at Warner Bros. if Stankey didn’t sort out the situation. Within weeks, Tsujihara was gone.

On Thursday, Stankey took a victory lap and sent a message to all of Hollywood: “We are uniquely positioned to offer our creative partners a multitude of platforms to realize their artistic goals and ambitions.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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