The fallout from the Sony Pictures hack continues. The Interview is now a non-existent movie (or at least will only have a life if it is made available online as an illegal torrent: a test of bravery for file-sharers as presumably they would be under threat of consequences for the bootleg that makes The Expendables 3 lawsuit seem like a picnic). Fans of pissing off North Korea can’t even enjoy Team America World Police instead. While Hollywood insiders try to decide what sort of Pandora’s Box they have opened by giving into the veiled threats of the Guardians of Peace, George Clooney is now accusing studio executives and industry power figures of downright cowardice, and is furious at the media’s focus on the gossipy emails instead of the nature of the cyber-attack.
Before Sony made the decision to pull The Interview, George Clooney and his agent, Bryan Lourd, circulated a petition asking people to support the studio in its fight against hackers. “This is not just an attack on Sony,” reads the statement. “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.” Not one person signed it. Talking to Deadline, Clooney admits people in the industry are scared, and he is concerned that the media focus on the leaked emails distracted from the larger truth about the hack. “Having put together telethons where you have to get all the networks on board to do the telethon at the same time, the truth is once you get one or two, then everybody gets on board. It is a natural progression. So here, you get the first couple of people to sign it and … well, nobody wanted to be the first to sign on … This is just where we are right now, how scared this industry has been made. Quite honestly, this would happen in any industry. I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal. A huge 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.”