According to NBC, U.S. officials have concluded that the North Korean government ordered the hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment — a breach that led to the studio cancelling the planned release of “The Interview.” In the wake of Sony’s decision, New Regency also decided to scrap Gore Verbinski’s North Korean-set thriller starring Steve Carell, tentatively titled “Pyongyang”. Gore Verbinski was set to direct and Steve Carell was set to star in this thriller based on a Guy Delisle graphic novel that centers on a Westerner in North Korea who is accused of espionage.
On Wednesday, Sony dropped its plans to release “The Interview” on Christmas Day after some of the country’s largest theater chains said they were holding back or dropping the movie following threats of violence made by the same group that claimed it hacked Sony, Guardians for Peace. US officials believe the hacking attack originated outside North Korea, but they believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Koreans.
I’m really surprised that the North Koreans would go to such lengths to attempt limit artists’ freedom of speech and expression outside of their country. What surprises me even more is their stance over a political parody, especially considering Team America was extremely offensive to many, just imagine if that movie had come out this year.
On the other hand, President Barack Obama says Americans should “go to the movies” without fear, despite hackers’ threats against venues that show the controversial film that Sony decided to pull.
I’m sure “The Interview” will be “leaked” to the internet some time soon, so it will be pretty much impossible to censor it like they wanted. However, it’s truly sad that Steven Carell’s movie won’t even be made.
I’m with Steven Carell on this one when he called the entertainment industry’s willingness to collectively give in to anonymous threats on the internet, “a sad day for creative expression.
The question now is, what can we do to prevent this from happening again?