Sony Pictures made the controversial decision to back down to "terrorists" threatening to attack cinemas if James Franco and Seth Rogen's North Korea comedy The Interview is released today, and the entertainment industry is stunned.
The studio said in a statement that it "stands by [its] filmmakers and their right to free expression" but must put "the safety of employees and theatre-goers" first.
Steve Carrell called it "a sad day for creative expression", while Zach Braff described the move as "a pretty horrible precedent to set".
Stephen King weighed in this morning, saying: "Sony's decision to pull THE INTERVIEW is unsettling in so many ways. Good thing they didn't publish THE SATANIC VERSES," while Jimmy Kimmel branded it "un-American".
. @JuddApatow I agree wholeheartedly. An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 17, 2014
Sony's decision to pull THE INTERVIEW is unsettling in so many ways. Good thing they didn't publish THE SATANIC VERSES.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 18, 2014
I have enjoyed movies that offended me deeply. The key to humor is the key to debate, to freedom of thought: difference.— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) December 18, 2014
Sad day for creative expression. #feareatsthesoul— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 17, 2014
Michael Moore perhaps put it best though, joking: "Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I'd also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers."
Sony Cyber Attack: The Worst Affected In Hollywood
Sony Cyber Attack: The Worst Affected In Hollywood
1/13 Leonardo DiCaprio
The actor's 'horrible behaviour' over Steve Jobs biopic was branded 'actually despicable' in leaked Sony executive emails
2/13 Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen and James Franco cancel Interview (North Korea-baiting film) press appearances after Sony hackers' threats
3/13 James Franco
Seth Rogen and James Franco cancel Interview press appearances after Sony hackers' threats
4/13 Aaron Sorkin
The screenwriter has said that the people who hacked into Sony Entertainment Pictures and released private emails are 'threatening the lives of whole families'
Theo Wargo | Getty Images for Nantucket Film Festival
5/13 Amy Pascal
Also leaked: Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal's email joking about President Barack Obama's race
6/13 George Clooney
Leaked email chain between Pascal and George Clooney appeared to reveal just how much the actor struggled to cope with the criticism of his The Monuments Men
7/13 Barack Obama
Sony executives Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal's leaked email exchange jokes about Barack Obama favouring films with black actors
8/13 Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum's leaked Sony executive email responding to the success of 22 Jump Street with Jonah Hill, which became the highest grossing R-rated comedy ever when it opened in June this year
9/13 Jaden and Willow Smith
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's children Willow and Jaden Smith found themselves in the Sony inbox as well
10/13 Mark Gordon
DiCaprio's exchange with Jobs TV producer Mark Gordon (pictured) was leaked too
11/13 Princess Beatrice
Sony hackers linked to North Korea revealed Princess Beatrice earns $30,000 a year
12/13 Michael Fassbender
Aaron Sorkin's leaked emails claimed he had no idea who actor Michael Fassbender (pictured) was
13/13 Scott Rudin
Information leaked has also included embarrassing emails involving high profile producer Scott Rudin attacking Angelina Jolie
The Interview, which focused on a plot to assassinate NK leader Kim Jong Un, will, if anything probably reach more people now however, as the film is expected to leak online this week after Jong Un's death scene popped up on YouTube.
Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I'd also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) December 17, 2014
This only guarantees that this movie will be seen by more people on Earth than it would have before. Legally or illegally all will see it.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 17, 2014
Let's be real here. NO ONE wanted to see "The Interview" to begin with. It's most likely a crappy movie. Now that it's gone, you want it.— Lamarr Wilson (@LamarrWilson) December 17, 2014
Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 17, 2014
Canceling "The Interview" seems like a pretty horrible precedent to set.— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) December 17, 2014
The eighth collection of leaked Sony emails came with the following threat on Tuesday:
'We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)'Reuse content