Aaron Sorkin has said that the people who hacked into Sony Entertainment Pictures and released private emails are "threatening the lives of whole families" and asked whether there was any "such thing as privacy anymore".
Screenwriter Sorkin, who wrote The Social Network and The West Wing, was speaking after he wrote a New York Times piece criticising the Sony hack, which consequentially led to his own emails being leaked.
The hackers of Sony, who claim to be the "Guardians of Peace" (GOP), have now warned people that if they watch The Interview film they will suffer a "bitter fate" and that anyone who lives near a cinema showing the movie should vacate their homes. They used the ominous line: "Remember the 11th of September 2001."
During the summer, the North Korean regime warned that the film's release represented "an act of war" that would lead to "merciless" retaliation against the US. Although there is no firm evidence to connect North Korea to the hackers, it now seems clear that The Interview provided the GOP with a motive for its cyber-attack on Sony.
With the New York premiere of the movie being cancelled as well, Sorkin told Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today show that the hacking was similar to the nude photo hacking scandal orchestrated by 4Chan users a few months back.
Yet he added: "This is the exact same situation only worse by magnitudes because in this case the hackers stole this material and are threatening the lives of children...They're threatening the lives of whole families because they don’t like a movie that the studio is planning on releasing. How many different bedrock pieces of our decency do you have to obliterate before the press stops running the anchor leg of this relay travesty?"
Responding to the release of his own emails, Sorkin said he had "nothing to defend" and that "if you think that what I'm doing is defending the people who pay me, I can't offer any evidence to dissuade you. Maybe it'll help to know thought that the people I'm calling out are the people who tell you whether or not to go see something I've written."
In one alleged email exchange between Sony Pictures chairperson Amy Pascal and film producer Scott Rudin, the pair suggested films that US President Barack Obama might like according to whether or not they were directed by someone black or whether they featured black actors.
Asked by Today host Guthrie whether such information was illuminating and important for the public to know, Sorkin responded, "I'm so much less interested in a tasteless joke than I am in a massive invasion of privacy and that's what's happened here."
He added that the information was "just gossipy stuff about famous people. I get that it's fun, I get that it's delicious, but are we honestly saying that there's no such thing as privacy anymore? These were private conversations that were made public at the point of a knife."
Sorkin also continued his criticism of the media for publishing the leaks.
"Is there anything in these emails at all that's in the public interest...that points to wrong doing at the company? That helps anyone in any way? There isn't. There's just gossip there."Reuse content