George Clooney might be the person who is most upset that James Franco and Seth Rogen’s new movie The Interview has been canceled — but not because he is a major fan.
A week ago, Clooney sent a petition to rally against the hackers’ demands and asked Hollywood execs to join forces with him, but not a single person signed his petition.
According to Deadline, part of the petition reads: “On November 24 of this year, Sony Pictures was notified that it was the victim of a cyber attack, the effects of which is the most chilling and devastating of any cyber attack in the history of our country…The hackers have made both demands and threats. The demand that Sony halt the release of its upcoming comedy The Interview, a satirical film about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.”
During an interview with Deadline, Clooney spoke about his disappointment that Hollywood refused to take a stand against the cyberterrorists who were responsible for the Sony hack — and threatened terrorist action against cinemas that showed the film, which was scheduled to debut on Christmas Day.
“A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty. They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on. With just a little bit of work, you could have found out that it wasn’t just probably North Korea; it was North Korea. The Guardians Of Peace is a phrase that Nixon used when he visited China. When asked why he was helping South Korea, he said it was because we are the Guardians of Peace. Here, we’re talking about an actual country deciding what content we’re going to have. This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That’s the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down,” Clooney said.
Clooney also said the only reason Sony ended up pulling the plug on the movie is because all the theaters refused to run it, and they refused out of fear that someone might get hurt.
“Sony didn’t pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible,” he added.
And it is that fear that Clooney believes is why no one chose to sign his petition.
“This is just where we are right now, how scared this industry has been made. Quite honestly, this would happen in any industry,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal. … And people are still talking about dumb emails. Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”