Sony cancels ‘The Interview’ release, US govt traces hacking to North Korea

James Franco

This Sony hack business has hit the skids. We were all surprised to learn how the hackers’ main motivation was to stop The Interview, a satircal film about the assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The hackers threatened a 9/11-like attack over a silly James Franco and Seth Rogen movie. The Department of Homeland Security didn’t find evidence of a credible threat, but those associated with the movie grew nervous. Tonight’s NYC premiere was cancelled, as were other press events. Now Sony has dropped the hammer on The Interview. The film has been pulled from its planned Christmas Day release. Sony didn’t have much of a choice at this point, as the top five theater circuits (including Regal, AMC, and Cinemark) all decided not to show the movie. Here’s Sony’s official statement:

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.

“Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

[From Deadline]

Sony added that it has no further plans” to release the film, either on VOD or DVD. Sony likely made this addendum for insurance purposes. If they claim a total loss, insurance may cover the entire cost of pulling the film. People are really upset about because Sony allowed itself to be censored by the hackers. But it was the only decision they could make, you know? A terrorist attack on a theater would be much more financially devastating than losing one movie. Not only would there be loss of life, but an attack would stop people from going to the movies altogether. It could hurt the entire movie industry.

The US government has been working on the hack. It announced last nightthat the North Korean government was ‘centrally involved’ in the recent attacks on Sony Pictures’s computers.” It’s unusual for the US to make a conclusive, accusatory statement like this, but that’s what happened. Neither Sony nor the US has ruled out “the possibility that the attackers may have had some inside help.

The Interview isn’t the only movie affected by its cancellation. Deadline says plans for a Steve Carell film have been scrapped, as it was set in North Korea.

Twitter lit up with the cancellation news. Many people are outraged at North Korea being allowed to quash freedom of expression and speech from across the globe. Rogen and Franco have remained quiet on the situation, but Rob Lowe (who is in the movie) tweeted his disappointment: “Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them.” Oh, and the Alamo Theater in Dallas will fight back by airing Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America (the satire that focuses upon Kim Jong-il) on Christmas Day.

Seth Rogen

James Franco

Movie stills courtesy of Sony/Columbia Pictures; photo courtesy of WENN

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124 Responses to “Sony cancels ‘The Interview’ release, US govt traces hacking to North Korea”

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  1. MelissaManifesto says:

    The Sony hack is the gift that keeps on giving, everyday something more scandalous, more racist, more misogynistic comes out. Has Sony hired a Crisis Management firm at all? This has revealed a darker side of Hollywood that very few thought existed, I always knew it wasn’t a cushy family, but the level of depravity shown here still horrifies me. However, there is still a crime at hand, and I for one cannot seem to understand why one single movie is causing so much mayhem. There have been more controversial movies in the past about countries and world leaders, they usually get banned, and then people move on.

    • QQ says:

      THIS!.. they are only taking the L on this sh!tty looking movie cause they couldnt afford any more leakage

      Additional to the Bonanza of the Sony emails, Im quite enjoying the implossion of the pothead dudebros on the twitters, like this was THEE most seminal film in the History of movies or some such

      Extra Brownie points to the theater showing Team America… which is waaayyy better as satire and humor and being insulting than this movie was looking

      • So says:

        all these rich celebs tweeting “sad day for being an artieste!” and what not. seriously, this was a corporate decision. Hollywood is all butthurt because they weren’t able to make money of this crap, racist movie.

      • Tippy says:

        @SO, I think it’s a sad day when we allow terrorists to dictate our freedom of expression.

        A sad day indeed.

      • QQ says:

        well So that also is what happens when they don’t even bother having One person of color ein these rooms that could maaaaayybbe pipe up and say: engh IDK you guys besides the fact the plot is thin, sounds like trash It doesn’t seem like a great idea

      • Katenotkatie says:

        QQ I agree- a bunch of white guys caricaturing another country’s people isn’t some brilliantly effective satire, it’s just gross and unoriginal. The movie looked extremely unfunny anyway, so no big loss from where I sit. Also, instead of people (mostly the aforementioned dudebros) complaining about “the terrorists winning” they should be considering how Sony chose profits over “free artistic expression” or whatever- they’re not releasing the film on VOD or DVD so they can recoup the film’s cost through insurance.

      • Anony says:

        I’m with Tippy. Bet there’s a few countries thinking of new ways to manipulate the American economy with threats like these.

        And IT IS a shame this movie didn’t get released. Yes, it was probably going to be stupid…but you know what? I want the younger generation to get interested in what is happening in North Korea. It bothers me that so many people don’t know what is happening there RIGHT NOW.

        People are actually starving to death while the ‘glorious leader’ lives a life of luxury. He has (and continues to) imprison thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Any children born while in the prison also become prisoners and are not allowed to leave (their crime…being born!). There have been many, many children born that spent their entire lives within prison walls. These children are starved, abused, beaten and tortured as well (even though they have committed no crimes…and likely neither did their parents). Millions upon millions are absolutely suffering in the worst conditions you can imagine. The people are completely trapped, they have no escape.

        The stories of the few who have escaped are absolutely heart-breaking. One man, when he was 12 told the guards about his brother and mother’s plan to escape the prison. He told the guards because he thought they would award him with more food (he as a child and THAT hungry). His reward? All three were tortured. Then they executed his brother and mother IN FRONT OF HIM.

        I want everyone to know about the plight of the North Koreans.

      • jane16 says:

        I’m with Tippy and Anony. I find this whole episode to be frightening and sad. And yes, I’m sad that the movie was cancelled. Also, as the wife of a movie studio exec, I did not take kindly to the email leaks either. All of the studios are getting rid of unnecessary emails and re-doing their cyber security, which extends to employees homes. We had two it guys out at our house last week. This is a terrible thing, not only for the entertainment industry, but for the entire country as well.

        btw, the scene of the movie, where KJU gets blown up, is on youtube.

      • FLORC says:

        I do appreciate the scene was put on youtube and other various sites.
        This movie was going to be awful and no one would think twice about it. Now it should be released and seen just on principle by those who wish to have the option.

        And it’s been discussed here, but worth noting. The people of NK are too busy dying and shut off from the world to even imagine this is happening. It’s this 1 manchild. Ugh. This is 1 of those few threads here on a topic that truly is distressing.

    • SnarkySnarkers says:

      Seriously, it does feel like this is setting a precedent that if you threaten violence, you get your way. It sucks all around. I do wonder if they decided to pull it because something truly vile was about to come out though… the CEO is a pedophile or who knows what horrible things Hollyweird is hiding. Obviously this is just my own twisted speculation.

    • Maxine7 says:

      I guess I don’t get the whole ‘terrorist won’ argument. No one is saying people can’t speak freely. The only point I see here is that sometimes free speech has consequences and sometimes you have to decide if those consequences are worth it. Take the political aide who bashed the Obama girls. She was TOTALLY allowed to say what she wanted. Did it have consequences. Sure did. She may be saying to herself right now I don’t care because I got to say what I wanted. I doubt it but nobody said she couldn’t say what she wanted. But it had consequences.

      Same with SONY. They made the movie and even though North Korea has been complaining about it for ages they didn’t feel their free speech was being infringed. I remember several interviews where Seth Rogen basically doubled down on the movie and laughed off North Korea and their threats. Well, SONY blinked because they probably have a million more skeletons they don’t want coming out. To bad for them but again, terrorism didn’t win. Sony just decided more of their racism and prejudice and bigotry wasn’t worth loosing their company over.

  2. Peppa says:

    Money is really the most important thing in this situation. The theaters didn’t want people to stay home on Christmas day, the other studios didn’t want their movies not to be seen. It stinks, but that’s the bottom line.

    • LadyMTL says:

      ITA, although it irks me no end that Sony caved in. I mean, I understand that no-one wanted to take a risk of another tragedy in a movie theater but at the same time what kind of message does that send? “Yes, threaten us and we’ll give in!” Ugh. This whole thing has devolved into a hot mess…and not the fun kind.

      • ShazBot says:

        I think Sony should release the movie free online/on demand all over the world. Then everyone will watch it, and it would show that no, you can’t bully people into censorship. But alas, the bottom line is their focus.

      • Chinoiserie says:

        This is not Sony’s fault. Before they announce they would not release the Interview nearly all theather companies said they would not show it. This was very interesting to follow yesturday. If the theathers were worried about security it would have foolish from Sony to force them to keep the contracts since it would harm their relationship in the future

        So Sony could have released in VOD but they can do not later as well.

      • ORLY says:

        What was Sony to do, when the theaters won’t show the movie?

      • MinnFinn says:

        Shazbot – That’s a good idea.

      • MonicaQ says:

        If they did release it and something happened, people would be howling that Sony put profit over human life. It was no win for them.

      • LadyMTL says:

        @ORLY They could release it on iTunes or on VOD or something like that. The theaters are where they make their money, yes, but they’re not the only way you can see a movie these days.

        Like I said, I understand why they did it but it still bugs me.

      • Lucinda says:

        If the risk hadn’t been so high (Christmas day is insanely busy so a lot of people involved) and the movie had been truly high quality, I think you would have seen a different outcome. This was balancing profit with risk. I do think though that if they had released it and something terrible could have happened, well….

        I also agree that a complete non-release gives them a viable chance of recouping more of their money through insurance than a limited release through VOD. Again, I think this boils down to profit vs. risk.

      • bettyrose says:

        Shazbot that’s brilliant. I was thinking they should send James Franco to North Korea tied in a Christmas bow as an apology gift, but your idea is better.

      • Megan says:

        What a sh:$storm over a movie that looks like is probably terrible.

      • Tippy says:

        @Shazbot, what about the next film that someone might find objectionable?

        Studios cannot run the risk of being stuck in this same predicament indefinitely and it will strongly influence future projects.

      • ShazBot says:

        @BettyRose – Ha! Love it.

        @Tippy – they’re in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. But if they do file for insurance to cover the loss, I’ll bet premiums go up because there is a precedent set now. Cause enough disruption and make some threats and you can shut any movie down.

      • CC says:

        Not to mention that any VOD hosting service could/might be subject to massive hackings as well as retaliation.

        They did it to Sony, why stop there? Proven time and again how exploitable the whole online contents is.

    • Dutch says:

      I wouldn’t be as concerned about an external terror threat as internal stupidity. Tensions between citizens and the police are already high, so an increased security presence could be a recipe for disaster. I had several people tell me after the Aurora shooting that it would have “turned out different” had they been there with their trusty firearm. You combine that mindset with possibility of pranksters setting off firecrackers in theaters. Suddenly you have well intentioned people firing wildly into a crowded theater and the slowest news cycle of the year being dominated by images of people being wheeled out of movie theaters on stretchers. With those possibilities and this litigious society, pulling the movie was the only option.

  3. Kiddo says:

    I’m not sure I buy the N Korea connection now. The FBI thought it was an inside job, and now we’re back to North Korea? Nope. It’s a game to not let on where the investigation is going, and this North Korea association allows Sony to position itself in stronger victimhood stance. Anyone else feel like this doesn’t jibe? They can get all rah rah USA and look less sinister when more questionable emails leak.

    • mimif says:

      Freedom isn’t free, it costs folks like you and me…And yeah, not buying it at all.

      • Kiddo says:

        Freedom is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        AMERICA…F–K YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

        Team America is on of my favorite comedies!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!

        Matt Damon….duh

      • Sixer says:

        I’m at the point where I don’t really care. I wouldn’t believe what the US security services say about (or if it was another country, what their security service said). Neither do I agree that the US rarely makes accusatory, conclusive statements like this. The US is forever making such statements (and so are lots of other countries, including my own).

        It might be North Korea, it might not. It might be a combination of actors, domestic and Korean. It might not. But all we’re going to get now is a load of spin from all sides, be they US govt, Sony corps, N Korean govt, whoever, intended to direct citizens to whatever opinion TPTB think they should hold.

        What I would say we can all believe is that there is no capacity for credible North Korean terror attacks on US soil. And thank heavens for that.

      • **sighs** says:

        Sixer- correct. How exactly would NK attack movie theaters in the US? I just don’t even see how that is plausible.

      • Tatiana says:

        Freedom means acting reasonably & responsibly. Behaviors that seem to be in short supply these days.

        I’m not crazy about a country or individual dictating the terms of whether or not a corporation in a democratic country can show a film (even if it’s a bomb of a movie); but I understand. Making the film VOD for free is a good idea but in doing so Sony can’t file an insurance claim so that’s not going to happen. With racial tensions high, faith in law enforcement low, a gun crazy society & worldwide terrorist activity rampant, this is the result. It remains to be seen what will happen in the future if something like this happens again.

    • UltraViolet says:

      The FBI also suggested that North Korea may have gotten some help from an insider. So both points of view may be correct.

    • cr says:

      From a political point of view, I’d think having it not state sponsored would be ‘easier’, because now there’s something solid to want to take revenge against. “It’s North Korea, do something!”, as opposed to some random hackers in Thailand or their mom’s basement in Des Moines. Or a disgruntled Sony employee.

      And as as for not releasing it in theaters, I think it’s a cop out, though I understand the fear. But not even releasing it on VOD or other platforms? That I don’t get.

      • noway says:

        I know I like releasing it on VOD free for a weekend and asking for a donation for a cause! Then it can be on VOD and they will make some money back. I know that is a movie I would never want to see and now I want to see what all the fuss is. If it is North Korea wouldn’t it be fitting if more people watched it than the few who would go to a theatre to see.

        Also, I still think it is primarily someone at Sony. The leaks that were out just seemed so personal. Not sure I am buying the North Korea connection either, but can’t wait to see if that is what the FBI will say about it. There is supposed to be an official announcement today. We will see.

    • M.A.F. says:

      It’s been reported that North Korea pulled a similar stunt with South Korean T.V. stations so it is possible they are behind it but they more than likely had help from someone inside Sony.

      I keep trying to figure out if this is some PR stunt Sony is playing.

      • cr says:

        This is why I wouldn’t be surprised if NK had outsourced this hack, as they’ve done before. And as already mentioned, it’s entirely possible it’s both NK and an inside job, they’re not really mutually exclusive.
        I’m also going to presume that even though the belief is that NK is the primary force behind this hack that everyone involved in investigating it (whether officially or just because) is going to go’ oh, that’s it, I’ll stop looking for the hackers now’.

    • Abbott says:

      Pulling the film is now the story. Sony becomes a victim, Amy Pascal gets to keep her job, and Franco is now the Rosa Parks for free speech (or whatever).

      They should release it on VOD but that’d mean Sony couldn’t drag out this narrative that’s conveniently providing some coverage for Pascal-Rudin-et al and those racist email leaks.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        I think to be able to collect on the insurance on the film, they have to totally scrap it. No blu-rays, no dvd’s, no VOD…

    • Bridget says:

      Supposedly N Korea has done this kind of thing before and it fits their style.

    • OhDear says:

      +whatever number we’re on now. It just seems rather implausible and to some extent, convenient.

    • Korra says:

      Agreed. This is all just getting utterly ridiculous now.

    • lrm says:

      Thank you! and having a regular CB commenter say it is all the better. I wanted to say the same thing…glad others feel the same. An about face by the govt/FBI, in less than 24 hours? The only thing I could come up with is that maybe they are ‘close’ to nabbing the source of the hack [likely in the USA or a western country] but wanted to deflect, like when the police say ‘we have no solid suspects’ but are actually closing in on one and don’t want that person to know. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense and lots of holes in this story, still….

  4. Dani2 says:

    I find it so surreal that all of this is over a Seth Rogen/James Franco flick. 2014 has been a crazy year.

    • Abbott says:

      That’s what I was thinking! Movie pulled, precedent set, and now we have to sit through a lifetime of James Franco think pieces. Well played, North Korea.

      But is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 still safe????

    • Miss M says:

      I know,right? A comedy with Professor F. and Rogen… As someone said on twitter, imagine if it was something more serious…

  5. Ag says:

    total and utter bs. the north korean government, whether they are directly associated with this hack or not, are touchy a-holes. they should take care of their starving citizens and not worry about idiotic comedies.

    • cr says:

      Dictatorships don’t care about their citizens, so no, NK isn’t going to feed their citizens. And Kim Jong-un strikes me as being more unstable than his father was, and so it doesn’t surprise me that he’d be very ‘touchy’ about this movie.

    • M.A.F. says:

      North Korea is a hermit country with a dictator at the wheel.

      • Ag says:

        i know and understand all that. i was just a comment on the situation. i have zero doubt that this is actually one of the saner things that kim jong-un has supported.

      • Maria says:

        A dictator who is treated and invoked among his people like some kind of divinity, as were his father and grandfather. N.K. is a sick, sick, nightmare of a place.

  6. GingerCrunch says:

    I’m actually bummed I won’t be seeing this movie. Who knows how funny it really was. But I love me some Franco and he looked adorable in it. Plus, I was really wanting to see their depiction of North Korea. Might’ve been fascinating. Oh well, maybe one far-off day in the future it’ll get released somehow, some way.

  7. UltraViolet says:

    I get the security worries, but I would have preferred to see Sony release the film in just one movie theater as a symbol of free speech. You could choose a theater that was relatively well-positioned to protect – maybe a freestanding theater with a single screen and a parking lot around it, or something. It would have been a small, symbolic victory, and if I lived nearby I would be happy to show up and see this movie which I would have never otherwise considered seeing, just as a symbol of defiance.

  8. dremy1 says:

    I know everyone has the right to their creative expression.

    However, imagine filming a movie portraying killing of a living head of the state. How in this age is it justifiable? One might say, ‘Oh but anyone in their country can make a movie like that assassinating head of state of US’ But would you like it?

    I understand that America and North Korea are definitely not friends and as usual, everything is portrayed in terms of good and evil and we are good guys and they are bad guys mentality among American public. And in today’s world America can do anything due to asymmetry of power. But on global stage this does not mean good for diplomacy particularly when the world is going through trying times.

    American studios may take it as a comedy, but I assure in Asian countries like Japan and Koreas, pride is a major thing. They don’t have the concept of laughing at themselves. I don’t fault them for that as it is cultural in nature.

    I don’t understand how a studio had greenlighted such a movie in the first place. I find it insensitive and racist.

    I also don’t support the actions of hackers, by the way.

    • hutter says:

      You beat me to it. I totally agree with you. At the very least they could have made up a country and a leader that *wink wink nudge nudge* everybody with half a brain would’ve understood to be North Korea and Kim Jong-Un.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Or as the reviewer for the Times said, talk about ALL of the a**hole dictators, not just one. Or in the case of the movie Team America, have puppets.

      • lrm says:

        Yes, like sacha baron cohen did. Also, why is there a steve carrell film that was scrapped b/c it ‘was set in n korea’? Why is it even set there to begin with? Yes, N Korea is not a friend and they are unpredictable, but they are isolated regime without as much power as others are giving them credit for. Also, dictators will want self preservation. We worried after the cold war about rogue governments and countries after USSR fall out, but these countries do realize that nuking is not self preservation, after all. Point being: It’s not two equally powerful nations duking it out or anything….N Korea is somewhat like that annoying kid in class who always tries to be funny or important enough to get attention, etc. IMO.

    • Branvoyage says:

      You definitely have a point. Hadn’t thought of it that way.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yeah I agree the movie premise is racist and insensitive but I still don’t like censorship. No one is really blameless in this but the hackers are creeps.

      • missAmina says:

        Where do you think I’d be if I wrote a script about killing the president of the United states of America, Barack Obama? Probably in jail before I could make copies of my script. So what makes it ok for these two assholes to make a movie about killing a real life politician, no name change? We may not agree with his politics, as I do not agree with Obama’s, but it is just entirely disrespectful to make a movie as such.

    • Tippy says:

      Sony Corporation is a Japanese company.

      • dremy1 says:


        Japan and North Korea have extremely hostile relations, even more severe than that of America and North Korea.

        You guys are making this about N Korea disrespecting USA. In fact comedies are made all the time in US which are racially insensitive. But assuming it is really North Korea which went after this, they have all the more reason because it is made by a Japanese corporation. Just my two cents. this is what I think happened – Sony was hacked by an insider, once the doubt was expressed that it was due to North Korea, the movie shot into global attention and that warning was given by North Korean against premiere. I think at this stage US Govt got involved and hence shutting down of the movie.

        I dont know if you believe in Christ or not, but as a believer I have to say this: Christmas is about love and forgiveness – not an opportunity to mock a country (God knows, it is only by chance you may have born in US rather than North Korea). Count your blessings, make a donation to foster peace in the world and make yourself a citizen of the world. Merry Christmas!

      • notasugarhere says:

        dremy1, only 30% of the world’s population is Christian. Many people in the US who go to movies at Christmas celebrate Christmas or Xmas, many do not. And this isn’t a Christmas movie, so I’m having a difficult time following your logic. At Christmas time, studios are only allowed to release happy bunny movies that follow your version of the Divine to the letter? Because you think shutting down freedom of speech fosters world peace?

    • Esmerelda says:

      Umh, the ‘head of state’ is a dictator. In a totalitarian regime. And you claim that the population will be ‘offended’?

      • dremy1 says:

        “The President of the United States of America (POTUS)[7] is the head of state and head of government of the United States.”

        I have a question – if you are totally anti-Bush as an American considering how many people he led to be killed etc., you would still be aghast if someone criticizes him when he is at the helm. Because even if you disagreed or did not like him, he still holds the position of the head of the State, and to some outsider to disrespect him means an offense to the US Govt as a whole. That is just basic diplomacy.

        Trust me even when the vast population is against the dictator (which you dont even know actually because I am sure like me you never had opportunity to speak to a North Korean residing there) still mocking him implies mocking the country – it shows on global arena the country it is powerless. These are all soft wars routinely played in the world.

        Trust me, all over the world it is not just about the rights. I personally know many people who would write off all their rights to get three meals a day. So please dont expect all North Koreans are eagerly waiting for some savior to come and rescue them and give them rights.

      • Pia says:

        “if you are totally anti-Bush as an American considering how many people he led to be killed etc., you would still be aghast if someone criticizes him when he is at the helm.”

        Says who? People had a field day making fun of the guy, and as someone linked below, it’s been done. Our government is somewhat of a farce these days. I take no offense to people poking at fun at it even in an extreme sort of way, including a fictional assassination, because I don’t like censorship. I honestly wonder how many hardcore right wing nut-jobs would out there would have fun making a movie about some “hero” assassinating Obama and “taking back America”. Heck, I know people who use print-outs of his face for target practice. I might find kind of stupid, but I don’t think aghast is the right word… for me anyway.

      • Esmerelda says:

        @dremy1: So, are you implying that threatening a terrorist attack on civilian movie-goers is a legitimate, or at least understandable, response to a stupid movie which may or may not hurt somebody’s national pride?

      • dremy1 says:

        @Esmeralda Did I ever say that? Stop putting words in my mouth.As a person who lost family members in terrorist attack, I know what terrorism is, thank you.
        What I am trying to say is that I find the idea of the movie as being insensitive.
        I am just trying to point out why I personally don’t like the idea of such a movie.

    • MsMercury says:

      I read a few of the leaked emails and Amy wanted them to change the name. She said it should be totally fictional but Seth and James disagreed. I feel like a lot of this could have been avoided if they didn’t use the real name and real country.

    • MinnFinn says:

      I did a quick google on other fictional movies about assassinating a living leader. I was really surprised that in 2006, “Death of a President” was released. It was a British-made mockumentary about GW Bush getting assassinated and the aftermath of Cheney being president.

      • WinterLady says:

        Well, apparently GW Bush has more of a sense of humor about himself they Un does, or he just didn’t care. And trust me, I didn’t like Bush and thought he deserved all the ragging on he got.

    • Bjf says:

      Really? Racist?

      • MsMercury says:

        Based on the reviews many are calling the film racist because they are poking fun at Asians in general by using tired stereotypes rather than just going after dear leader.

    • dremy1 says:

      @Pia that movie mentioned was a mocumentary exploring relevant ideas. I read the wiki article.
      It was not a farce/comedy which laughed at the manner of speech of Americans or how simplistic Americans are that their security is easily breached and how personally stupid their leader seems. And it is made in a friendly nation.
      C’mon.. where’s the comparison?

  9. Branvoyage says:

    Hopefully someone will pirate the movie bcuz now I’ve got to see it!

  10. hutter says:

    Again, don’t understand how this film got made in the first place. Did nobody involved ever ask themselves how a crazy dictatorial regime such as North Korea would react if am American movie depicts the assasination of their Dear Leader??

  11. TX says:

    I’m oddly so happy about these email leaks (def not happy about the employee personal info leaked, of course). I worked in Hollywood and was so put off by the attitudes that I left, even though it was always my dream. These emails just reaffirm my decision.

    Also so bummed Sony caved. How does the US look now that we can be intimidated by North Korea?! I see why they did it but dang.

  12. Talie says:

    I mean, did Kim Jong-IL even care about Team America. His son just seems to have problems that go so deep…

    Regardless, I always thought this movie seemed batsh*t crazy. Killing a world leader on screen, despite his insanity, is still risky.

    • MonicaQ says:

      And I’d figure Team America was WAAAAAAAAAY more offensive.

    • M.A.F. says:

      An article on said that with with Team America, they used puppets and not actors. And everyone was made fun one, not just one person. Also, you are talking about a 10 year difference, especially with technology and the internet.

  13. scout says:

    We are planning to go see “Unbroken” and possibly “The imitation game” in that week regardless of threat, never planned to see this stupid movie. In a way it’s good that they canceled release date, millions of kids will be in theaters for “Hobbit” movie, now they are safe.

  14. mzizkrizten says:

    this whole situation is so surreal and I really applaud the theaters and Sony for taking it seriously and not risking lives just to uphold the ‘almighty buck’.

  15. MinnFinn says:


  16. chaine says:

    Fast-forward six months, and we’ll find out the hackers were a pair of bored teenage white geeks operating out of a basement in Des Moines with no connection whatsoever to the Korean government… I hope Sony releases the movie on VOD or some other streaming method. At this point, I think a lot of people that wouldn’t have otherwise paid to go see it would download or stream it just to see what the heck it is, given the massive publicity the hack has brought to it.

  17. Amy says:

    All signs so far (according to the media) point to the hacking originating in North Korea. Apparently last year some South Korean banks and tv stations were hacked and the malware in those hacks were very similar to the ones used in the Sony hack. Also the malware was written in Korean which is a bit unusual in hacking world. Maybe a Sony employee helped them, which would make a lot of sense. But it seems NK was hell bent on shutting down this movie. I known a lot of people are outraged about theaters refusing to screen the movie but I say better safe than sorry. We already have had the Aurora, CO movie shooting and I thought that was horrific. I don’t want to imagine even worse than that.

  18. MrsBPitt says:

    Yup….if North Korea can push us around and get us to stop the showing of a comedy, A COMEDY MOVIE, what does that say to the rest of the world! Everyone will think all they have to do is mention 9/11 and we cave for any dumb reason. This is how Hitler started…pushing people around, and people were to afraid to stand up and say anything. Then he got more power and still many people looked the other way at the atrocities he started committing because they didn’t want to make waves. The next thing you know six million human beings were dead. I know you probably think its a bit much comparing the shutting down of a movie to Hitler’s regime. But that is how these crazy, manical, dictators begin. Little things first, burn some books, forbid watching this or that, and then it grows into who is acceptable and who is not. The North Korean regime has a terribe human rights record. I say, we have to nip this in the bud, immediatly. And say, this is our Country, we are showing this movie…take a stand, people!!!!

  19. original kay says:

    ” we will not give in to terrorist demands” says the USA. So, as long as it’s the innocent civilians in other countries being slaughtered, or beheaded on youtube, then the USA stands by that statement.
    but when IT’S innocent civilians are threatened, everything is cancelled and the demands are met.

    Outstanding global message the USA is sending.

    • **sighs** says:

      Errr… You realize Sony is a corporation and not an arm of the US government, yes?

      • SteaminSam says:

        Haha, the rant is strong in this one. It’s obvious the fact that Sony is not the US gvmt went right over original kay’s head…

  20. The Original G says:

    I understand the concern about freedom of speech.

    From another angle though, this film is just a “product”. It’s misconceived, badly timed and probably just dumb. As a “product” it’s got so much baggage that pulling it back it allowing Sony to cut losses of all kinds.

    I haven’t seen it. Who knows, maybe it’s an insightful parody that exposed political dictatorships with incisive wit and brilliant political analysis? Maybe it’s Dr Strangelove caliber.

    But, I suspect it’s probably a ham fisted juvenile stoner buddy adventure. And made without the slightest awareness, that it probably would have been more universal and aged better without specific references to living persons, admittedly despotic or not.

    Sony has the right to make their stupid 40 million dollar crapfest, but is this really what we want to spend our time defending? This was ill-conceived from the start.

  21. Skins says:

    Stupid movie anyway, don’t know how crap like this even gets green-lighted. These 2’s whole schtick is getting old anyway. Try doing something funny for a change

  22. So says:

    I’m glad this POS racist movie got destroyed. Seth Rogen was trying to make a buck using the same old, tired Asian stereotypes.

    • Nicole says:

      The content of the movie is irrelevant. They had a right to make it and I have a right to see it. Censorship of this kind is a direct attack on your personal choice to see, protest, write scathing reviews of, and create brilliant satires of this movie. YOUR rights have been diminished. This crime was done to YOU.

      • MourningTheDeathOfMusic says:

        Thank you, Nicole! I wish more would see the bigger picture.

      • MsMercury says:

        The content of the film is relevant and we should be able to talk about the racism in it. However I would have like the film to be released and quickly forgotten. We can both complain about threats and terrorism from NK and racism in the film. The film is said to be terrible but would have quickly faded away.

      • The Original G says:

        They have a right to make it, but there is no right to make available theatre and distribution so that anyone sees it. Those entities are well within their right not to support or engage in a business partnership with the producers.

        If the Marketplace rejects it for any reason, that’s the way the bigger picture works too. The film belongs to Sony, not The World.

      • jane16 says:

        Brava Nicole! Best comment of the thread!

    • Kip says:

      @So, ITA, I am so tired of these racist movies! @ Nicole, Censorship is terrible and should be illegal, but I also see casual racism as a crime done to me. I feel mine and everyone else’s rights are diminished by casual, implicit racism.

  23. Nicole says:

    This movie needs to be leaked EVERYWHERE… with a Korean translation.

    However I disapprove of the racism and sexism in their private emails, they are absolutely right that their business has been attacked and that they are the victims of censorship. It doesn’t matter how stupid this movie is, we should be demanding the right to see it.

  24. Amy says:

    At this point canceling the movie and taking a wash on it is the best thing for Sony. They’ve already lost the proverbial billions on this product and public opinion of them is at an all-time low. Definitely ruined Christmas over in Tinsel Town.

  25. MourningTheDeathOfMusic says:

    At this point in time, to put a complete thumb to the nose of those involved, put the stupid movie online for free.

  26. Dirty Martini says:

    I’m with the upstream poster who wants to send NKorea ROgen and Franco in a bow with some half-@$$ed apology. Rogen and Franco weren’t just actors in this who auditioned and won a part. Rogen produced the film; some within SONY suggested it be fictionalized and Rogen and Franco argued against it (and won). Rogen originally based it on King Jong il but when he died several years ago, they put the film on ice and let it sit until his son was in play and then firmly established as a successor. So this was an intended controversial act. I completely support free speech – and even intended contoversial acts — particularly when the latter are important and mean somthing. If not, I still support it, even when I think the speech / controversial act is stupid, ill advised and with absolutely no articistic or educational merit while at the same time waving an enflaming flag at a pissant dictator! I just hate we are in this kind of discussion over something so piddly as this stupid movie. Alas it is the principle of the thing, no doubt. This isn’t either / or — I’m not siding with NKorea on this, but I still hate that we would be engaging over stupidity like this movie of all movies. And here goes a sterotype….it isn’t as if this culture is known for embracing satire, laughing at themselves, etc. All who contributed to this are jackasses, unfortunately Rogen (in paricular), SONY and Franco are our jackasses and we have to defend them and our principles. But I damn sure want to kick Rogen in the nuts. Correction: Technically SONY is Japan’s jackass, but it was our division, so….

  27. Anony says:

    I said this above in a reply but I want to say it again. I’ll bet there’s a few countries thinking of new ways to manipulate the American economy with threats like these.

    And IT IS a shame this movie didn’t get released. Yes, it was probably going to be stupid…but you know what? I want the younger generation to get interested in what is happening in North Korea. It bothers me that so many people don’t know what is happening there RIGHT NOW.

    People are actually starving to death while the ‘glorious leader’ lives a life of luxury. He has (and continues to) imprison thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Any children born while in the prison also become prisoners and are not allowed to leave (their crime…being born!). There have been many, many children born that spent their entire lives within prison walls. These children are starved, abused, beaten and tortured as well (even though they have committed no crimes…and likely neither did their parents). Millions upon millions are absolutely suffering in the worst conditions you can imagine. The people are completely trapped, they have no escape.

    The stories of the few who have escaped are absolutely heart-breaking. One man, when he was 12 told the guards about his brother and mother’s plan to escape the prison. He told the guards because he thought they would award him with more food (he as a child and THAT hungry). His reward? All three were tortured. Then they executed his brother and mother IN FRONT OF HIM.

    I want everyone to know about the plight of the North Koreans.

  28. LaurieH says:

    Sony not only made a cowardice move, but has set a very bad precedent. Now, anything a movie comes out that some whackjob (be they foreign or domestic) finds objectionable, they’ll start making threats of violence and the studios will buckle. On the other hand, this does not surprise me. We’ve been on a slippery slope of censoring free speech for a number of years now through various forms of threats and intimidation.

  29. amunet ma'at says:

    I seriously have strong doubts about this angle, and the story being in Times does not persuade me at this point. I’m on the fence. I am excited that these e-mails pointed out the racism that still exists in Hollywood and sexism.

  30. fee says:

    If anyone truly believes the NK is “out” to get Sony over a flimsy film, they have serious issues. This from Iraq having massive destructive weapons, thus the invasion and never finding one weapon. This is another ploy to get people riled up and feel threatened to give the go ahead on another invasion. No studio would keep a film out if it was Oscar and money worthy, the reviews sucked and this was the perfect excuse.

  31. BlueeJay says:

    So…..what if a news station wants to broadcast a story and there is threat the studio will be blown up? See this might just be movie but it is limiting freedom of speech. Next time it might be something more important, these people now know that they have the US by the balls and can control whatever they want. Pretty scary. They could sensor whatever they want now with threats.

  32. Tammy says:

    Idk. I personally think it was a dumb choice to make that movie in the first place. There’s political satire, and then there’s this. If I made a movie about assassinating prez obama my door would be kicked in and I’d probably not be to happy right now, freedom of speech or not.

  33. bcgirl says:

    So hackers have a “style”? didn’t know that.
    I guess these hackers had “gangnam style” then?

    (sorry South Korea)