Belfast Telegraph

George Clooney launches petition for creative freedom: 'We will not stand in fear of North Korean hackers'

The actor condemned Sony Pictures for bowing to terrorism by axing The Interview after

By Jenn Selby

George Clooney is less than impressed with Sony Pictures.

And no, not just because he’s one of the many household names left blushing after a string of deeply personal leaked emails between Sony executives found themselves in the public domain.

He’s particularly perturbed by the film company’s decision to axe the release of Kim Jong-Un assassination movie The Interview, following a series of terrorist threats sent to movie theatres in the US that were set to screen it for the first time this week.

“Here, we're talking about an actual country deciding what content we're going to have,” he told Deadline.

“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,” Clooney says.

“You have someone threaten to blow up buildings and all of a sudden, everybody has to bow down. Sony didn't pull the movie because they were scared,” he continued. “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.”

So he’s started a petition, and is calling not just on Hollywood executives and actors to sign and promote it, but the wider media and press, too.

It 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. 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 our 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.

Source: Independent

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