Sony says it will release The Interview in spite of hacker threats

22 Dec 2014

Pictured: Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview, the movie famously shut down by alleged North Korean hackers but which may yet get a release

A lawyer for Sony said the company will release The Interview in an act of defiance against hackers who caused the movie’s cancellation at cinemas. US President Barack Obama deemed the cancellation “a mistake.”

On the US current affairs TV show on NBC ‘Meet the Press’ the lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment David Boies confirmed that despite the jitters of theatre owners Sony will find a way to release The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco based on a fictional visit to North Korea.

“Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed,” Boies promised.

The movie was initially set to screen in the US on 25 December.

However, cinema networks across the US feared for the safety of cinemagoers in light of the threats against their safety as well as the devastating hacker attack on Sony and the film was pulled.

One way the movie may see the light of day may be through Sony’s streaming network Crackle, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has suggested.

Self-censorship in Hollwyood

On Friday US President Barack Obama said at his year-end press conference that the cancellation of the movie after threats of violence were made could lead to an era of self-censorship in Hollywood.

He said: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”

He added: “Imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.”

The massive hacker attack on Sony at the start of this month decimated the company’s computer networks, saw five movies scheduled for release leaked to the internet as well as more than 47,000 worker files and a slew of highly sensitive emails emerge on the internet and appear in the media.

While Obama has declined to call the attack on Sony an act of war, instead labelled it cyber vandalism.

He said that the US intends to respond proportionately and is considering putting North Korea back on a list it keeps of countries it suspects sponsor terrorism.

North Korea for its part has called for a joint investigation into the incident with the US and warned that there would be “serious consequences” if the US failed to agree to the joint probe.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years