There was an eerie silence from much of Hollywood as cyber terrorists rummaged through the Sony’s files, releasing embarassing emails, movie budgets and top secret scripts along with social security numbers and medical records of the studio’s employees. Well, it turns out one A-lister was trying to organize a show of solidarity and protest. But he couldn’t find anyone but his agent to join him.
George Clooney told Deadline he circulated a petition to support the release of The Interview. But after those cringe-inducing emails hit accompanied by accusations of racism and sexism, “no one was going to get on the side of Amy (Pascal, Sony chairman).”
In an intense no-fucks-to-give interview, Clooney takes tons to task including the media for covering the scandals instead of investigating the hack’s perpetrators, the studio for caving to terrorist threats, and basically the whole of Hollywood for not uniting behind Sony instead of cowering as far from this fiasco as possible.
Here are some highlights:
“With the First Amendment, you’re never protecting Jefferson; it’s usually protecting some guy who’s burning a flag or doing something stupid. This is a silly comedy, but the truth is, what it now says about us is a whole lot. We have a responsibility to stand up against this. That’s not just Sony, but all of us, including my good friends in the press who have the responsibility to be asking themselves: What was important? What was the important story to be covering here? The hacking is terrible because of the damage they did to all those people. Their medical records, that is a horrible thing, their Social Security numbers. Then, to turn around and threaten to blow people up and kill people, and just by that threat alone we change what we do for a living, that’s the actual definition of terrorism.”
Then he read his petition to the reporter. It’s transcription follows below:
“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. Personal information including Social Security numbers, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and the full texts of emails of tens of thousands of Sony employees was leaked online in an effort to scare and terrorize these workers.
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. Their threats vary from personal—you better behave wisely—to threatening physical harm—not only you but your family is in danger. North Korea has not claimed credit for the attack but has praised the act, calling it a righteous deed and promising merciless measures if the film is released. Meanwhile the hackers insist in their statement that what they’ve done so far is only a small part of their further plan.
This is not just an attack on Sony. It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country. That is why we fully support Sony’s decision not to submit to these hackers’ demands. We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty. We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear. We will stand together.”
Beyond his petition, Clooney said he’s spoken to Pascal, who wants to put The Interview online after all, a move the star/producer/activist supports. “My partner Grant Heslov and I had the conversation with her this morning,” he explained. “Stick it online. Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-Un, of all fucking people.”