LATEST reaction from Hollywood and beyond to the Sony hacking scandal and President Obama’s remarks on Friday that the studio ‘made a mistake’ in not releasing its embattled film The Interview:
— “As the events of the past weeks have made painfully clear, we are now living in an age in which the Internet can enable a few remote cyber criminals to hold an entire industry hostage. We hope that instead of the “chilling effect” on controversial content, this incident becomes a rallying point for all of us who care about freedom of expression to come together and champion this inalienable right. We stand by our director members Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and hope that a way can be found to distribute the film by some means, to demonstrate that our industry is not cowed by extremists of any type.” — The Directors Guild of America in a statement.
— “The decision to pull The Interview is historic. It’s a case of putting short term interests ahead of the long term. If we don’t get the world on board to see that this is a game changer, if this hacking doesn’t frighten the Chinese and the Russians, we’re in for a very different world, a very different country, community, and a very different culture.” — Sean Penn in a statement to MotherJones.com.
— “Mr. President, where was your sage counsel to Sony when the public terrorist threat was made? When the theatre chains balked? 2little 2late” — Writer-director Joss Whedon on Twitter.
— “I do think it’s (expletive) up how everyone is doing exactly what these criminals want.” — Seth Rogen to Howard Stern earlier this week.
— “Not Sony’s fault. The litigious nature of our country makes it impossible for a business to make a stand against an outward threat. Sony should have made the public aware of the hack & the threats, then released the film. Up to people to go or not. #ItsCalledFreedom.” — Actor Michael Chiklis on Twitter.
— “We should look at a threat first, and worry about the movie later. The movie is irrelevant to me. We should look at the bigger picture. We should be looking at what we can do to prevent more severe breaches like this one.”— Brian Mullins, a moviegoer in San Francisco.
— “The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me…Whether it’s the next CITIZEN KANE or the next PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.” — Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin on his blog.
— “This attack is no different than a 9/11 type attack. They stole this material… The country should have rallied around Sony and we should have, as Americans, said this is wrong. We’re under attack.” — Howard Stern in an interview this week with Seth Rogen and James Franco.
— “Pyongyang’s power to stifle free speech and artistic freedom must be universally condemned and the Kim regime must be made to understand that acts such as these will only deepen its diplomatic and economic isolation… The Sony hack is also a wake-up call to America and the West, who have been far too complacent in the face of the demonstrated and growing cyber threat posed by Russia, China, and Iran, as well as North Korea. Our national security is not only dependent on physically safeguarding the American people, but also developing the means to prevent a rogue nation or a terrorist group from launching a cyber attack that results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage or the loss of life.” — Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a statement.
— “It makes Sony look weak. It just sets a precedent.” — Moviegoer Sun Kyu Choi, 23, of New York.
— “omg sony tells these two dimwits to make a comedy about killing a foreign prime minister? wtf were THEY thinking? OMG!” —Roseanne Barr on Twitter.
— “OK, Sony, if you’re so desperate to release it, hire a movie theatre in every major U.S. city and screen it yourselves. #TheInterview” — Piers Morgan on Twitter.
— “President Obama just said that Sony caving to hackers and pulling #TheInterview was ‘a mistake’.” — Rob Lowe on Twitter.
— “It is not shocking that nobody signed (George) Clooney’s petition. Almost nobody here will acknowledge that Bill Cosby has been accused of (sexual abuse).” — Filmmaker Judd Apatow on Twitter, regarding George Clooney’s failed effort to rally studios and stars behind Sony.
— “We should be in the position right now of going on offense with this. I just talked to Amy (Pascal) an hour ago. She wants to put that movie out. What do I do? … Stick it online. Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all (expletive) people.” — George Clooney in a Thursday interview with industry site Deadline.com.