Kevin Tsujihara has resigned as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. following an investigation into his reported sexual relationship with British actor Charlotte Kirk, where it was alleged in exchange Tsujihara helped to secure Kirk meetings and auditions with studio executives for roles in various Warner Bros. movies and television series.
Two weeks ago, hundreds of leaked text messages between Kirk, Tsujihara, director Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer (Ratner's partner in RatPac Entertainment) were obtained by The Hollywood Reporter that detail the chain of events that began on Sept. 27, 2013, with Packer texting a then 21-year-old Kirk with the opportunity for an introduction to "the most important man u can meet," which was revealed to be Tsujihara. From there, THR reports Tsujihara arranged for Kirk to meet with studio executives, which was called "a highly unorthodox effort for the chairman of a studio."
That same week, Tsujihara would issue an apology amid the investigation by Warner Bros. where he expressed regret over "mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most," as well as actions that "have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you." He revealed Warner Bros. hired a third-party law firm to look into the incident and agreed to "cooperate fully with this investigation."
Tsujihara's resignation memo reads,
Over the past week and a half, I have been reflecting on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future. After lengthy introspection, and discussions with John Stankey over the past week, we have decided that it is in Warner Bros.’ best interest that I step down as Chairman and CEO.
I love this company and the people that make it so great. I’ve been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees over the past 25 years. Together we’ve built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry.
However, it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.
I am overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and industry partners during this difficult time.
Again, I am so proud of the great work that you do every day to make Warner Bros. the gold standard in our industry. It has been a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you, and I wish you all the absolute best.
Tsujihara was slated to gain control of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. studio in the new WarnerMedia following AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.