Seth Rogen strongly believes the Sony hack was an inside job, not North Korea

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I tried to watch Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity on Netflix with a friend and we only got through a half hour of it. The opening bit was funny but it was soon followed by a too long bit about penises from different countries that just made me cringe. None of the opening comedians made us laugh and there was something off about the format. Good for him for putting together a comedy show for a good cause, and maybe I’ll give it another chance at some point.

Seth has an interview with Vulture that’s getting a lot of press. First off, he says that he thinks the Sony hack must have been carried out by someone with access to their servers. Remember how Seth’s 2014 film, The Interview co-starring James Franco, was threatened by the North Korean government for their portrayal of their dictator Kim Jong-un? A few months later The Sony hack happened, all of Sony’s internal emails were leaked and it was blamed on North Korea. Only Seth thinks that it was too hard a job for North Korea and that it must have been done by someone on the inside. He also talks about the fact that he’d still work with James Franco despite the credible allegations against him for abusing women on and off set. Here’s some of what he told Vulture about the Sony hack, with much more at the source. Seth really spills it here.

What thoughts get kicked up when you see North Korea in the news these days?
It does kick stuff up for sure. Honestly, I really don’t think North Korea hacked Sony.

Why’s that?
When the trailer for The Interview came out we were called into a meeting at Sony, where they told us that North Korea had probably already hacked into their system and seen the movie and that the statements they’d put out was their response. Then, months later, when the movie itself finally came out, all this hacking sh-t happened. This was months after North Korea had probably already seen the movie. Why would they wait? And they never did anything like that before and haven’t done anything like it since. So things just never quite added up. The guy I’d hired to do my cybersecurity even told me, “There’s no way this was a hack. It had to be a physical act.” The amount of stuff that was stolen would have had to have physical mass to it.

In the sense that whoever stole the information needed to have his or her hands on a server at some point?
Yeah, it wasn’t something you could’ve hacked remotely. It required plugging sh-t into other sh-t. And the hack also seemed weirdly targeted at Amy [Pascal], which seems fishy — of all the people to target? Why not me? Why not Michael Lynton? [CEO of Sony]

Has anyone given you a plausible theory for who else might be responsible?
I’ve heard that it was a disgruntled Sony employee. I’ve also heard people say that they think someone was hired to do the hack as a way of getting Amy Pascal fired. I don’t know if I subscribe to those theories, but I kind of don’t think it was North Korea.

[From Vulture]

So in Seth’s mind the hack happened and they had a convenient scapegoat in North Korea as they’d already been threatened over The Interview. The timeline and volume of material stolen is more consistent with a different motive and means than North Korea had. That makes a lot of sense but I wonder if he just burned a bridge with Sony. He also said that he regretted playing along with Sony’s request that he and James Franco act dumb and like they had no idea their film was going to be controversial. Of course they knew.

Here’s the part where Seth is asked about the allegations against Franco. He’s upfront about it, is still friends with Franco and would still work with him.

James Franco is something I have to ask you about. Were the recent allegations against him in keeping with the person you know?
The truth is that my perspective on this is the least relevant perspective. I’m friends with these people and I’m a dude. All that combined makes me the last person who should be talking about this.

Is it fair to say that the allegations didn’t change anything about your willingness to work with him in the future?

Can you tell me about the experience of seeing someone you know so well involved in a controversy like that?
There are so many people with real things to contribute to the #MeToo discussion that anything I say is not going to add anything useful.

[From Vulture]

I would have liked him to have said “I believe the women” point blank. This isn’t the worst answer though, he knows he’s not the person to speak on this issue and he’s not pulling a Damon and defining women’s experiences for them. I’m not a huge fan of Rogen’s but he’s not a douchebro and he’s not pretending to be someone he’s not. Maybe he’s not trying hard enough though either.

There’s so much more in the interview from Seth about his pot use, his process with co-writer and co-producer Evan Goldberg and the projects they’re working on, as well as how he realized Guilt Trip wasn’t working during filming. I appreciate how honest and open he was, even if I didn’t like everything I heard. Also now I want to see Blockers.

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19 Responses to “Seth Rogen strongly believes the Sony hack was an inside job, not North Korea”

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  1. Bridget says:

    I thought it was a really interesting interview and worth the read. The part about Nicholas Cage killed me.

    • lucy2 says:

      That part is really funny. Nicholas Cage is a weird dude.

      I think Seth took the easy way out on Franco though.

      • Bridget says:

        He’s not required to publicly process the Franco stuff, though.

      • Mia4s says:

        “He’s not required to publicly process the Franco stuff, though”

        Maybe….probably? But isn’t that what everyone has been demanding people do with Woody Allen? Hell, Franco has more accusers. Interesting what people have decided is acceptable and what isn’t.

        He’s given his response. I don’t “cancel” people for the actions of others so I’d still watch Rogan’s work…but not with Franco. Nothing with Franco.

      • lucy2 says:

        Of course not, and only Franco is responsible for his actions.
        But I think he could have done better than just say he had nothing to add to the conversation, which to me felt like an effort to change the subject.

      • Bridget says:

        I would far rather that someone acknowledge when their voice isn’t needed and not add anything vs when people interject themselves needlessly (looking at you, Damon). Because we’re not asking for his actual thoughts, we want a specific condemnation and anything short of it is going to perpetuate the cycle of sound bytes and quotes. I’d far rather someone say “I have nothing to add myself” than the stupid stuff we’ve been hearing.

      • QueenB says:

        Its been a while. Seth had more than enough time to process it. We could argue about it if it came out yesterday and he was interviewed today but again he had more than enough time and he must have known the question would come up.
        He is simply using feminist talking points to dodge the question instead of calling James out and siding with the women.

      • Bridget says:

        But again, he is not obligated to discuss this publicly. Seth Rogan isn’t the one accused of harassing women, he doesn’t owe us anything.

    • MissMarierose says:

      White Bahamian!

  2. Jess says:

    Seth looks like David Cross in that picture with the cap and the buffalo plaid shirt. Ugh. As for the Franco stuff, it’s not the best, not the worst. I used to really love Rogen but am a bit over the dude bro stuff right now so couldn’t even be bothered to watch his comedy special. As for Blockers, I loved that movie. The teen girls were all great but as a mom of teens it felt more like a coming of age movie for parents dealing with their babies growing up and away, rather than a growing of age movie for the teens.

  3. QueenB says:

    ” I’m friends with these people and I’m a dude. All that combined makes me the last person who should be talking about this”

    Ugh! That is such obvious manipulation. “Hey I am your super Ally that would never speak over women so please let me use this to totally not answer the question and hide behind fake wokeness.” Its a bad way to explain his silence.

  4. SlightlyAnonny says:

    This was fascinating especially in combination with the Megan [spelling intentional] Kelly/NBC forced letter. I think there is room in all of this to say, “this person is my friend and I have not had this experience with him but I acknowledge that my experience with him is not what matters.” I think Seth does that quite well.

  5. HelloSunshine says:

    Interesting on the Sony hack stuff. I guess I don’t remember enough about it to have an opinion on whether it could’ve just been a hack but I agree that the info released was very specific and didn’t seem to have much to do with the film (or am I remembering wrong lol).

    His answer on Franco is meh. Not the worst thing but I also have some sympathy for people caught in the cross hairs. They are friends or colleagues with people who have been accused and it puts them in a weird position to be asked this kind of stuff in an interview.

    • cr says:

      My memory of reading on the hack, from 3 1/2 years, ago was that Sony’s IT security was pretty lacking, and that N Korea had a more sophisticated hacking program than I’d realized. There’s still dispute among actual experts as to whether or not N Korea did this or not. But I’m pretty sure Rogen doesn’t really know enough about this to understand it either.

      • trh says:

        Mr. Rogen’s summary belies shocking ignorance of the matter, considering his financial interest. At minimum he should know that it’s a very complicated incident and not one that can be aptly summarized as “X hacked Y”. The State Department had enough evidence implicating North Korea for President Obama to sign an Executive Order levying sanctions, specifically citing the Sony incident. (I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Obama’s administration did their due diligence.) Of course the errors and omissions of Sony staff are part of the story, but that doesn’t make it “an inside job”. He’s clueless.

  6. Caroline says:

    Blockers was hilarious.

  7. Pamsicle says:

    Can’t help it. Love Seth Rogen. He’s down to earth and hilarious while being super successful and pumping out provocative funny movies. He’s fantastic.

  8. No Doubtful says:

    Seth….lose the beard. I can appreciate his answer on Franco because I think everyone knows he would still work with him so at least he’s being honest about it.