George Clooney Tries, Fails to Rally Hollywood Around Sony Pictures

George Clooney Tries, Fails to Rally Hollywood Around Sony Pictures

Hollywood Kim Jong-un 350x

Hollywood completely folds before hackers as Clooney circulates petition of support for Sony.

Update: Within minutes of this news post going live, the FBI formally accused North Korea of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer systems. (via: Reuters)

Original Story: While we've all been following the Sony Pictures hack and subsequent cancellation of The Interview with bated breath, George Clooney (The Monuments Men, Gravity) was trying to rally the Hollywood troops.

Based on the lack of vocal support from other Hollywood studios (and Paramount's cancellation of Team America: World Police screenings), you can already figure how his crusade went.

In an interview with Deadline last night, the leading man talked about how he and Bryan Lourd (Clooney's agent at CAA) circulated a petition of support to show that Hollywood was standing behind Sony Pictures. [Update: This petition of support was being circulated before Sony announced that it was cancelling the release of The Interview.] "[The petition] was sent to basically the heads of every place," said Clooney, meaning that the petition was sent to every major studio in Hollywood, among other power players. "They told Bryan Lourd, 'I can't sign this.' What? How can you not sign this? I'm not going to name anyone...but nobody signed the letter."

Clooney continued, "After the Obama joke, no one was going to get on the side of Amy [Pascal, co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures Entertainment], and so suddenly, everyone ran for the hills. Look, I can't make an excuse for that joke, it is what it is, a terrible mistake. Having said that, it was used as a weapon of fear, not only for everyone to disassociate themselves from Amy but also to feel the fear themselves. They know what they themselves have written in their emails, and they're afraid."

So Clooney's petition of support (see full text below) was DOA, showing exactly how much backbone one of America's most prolific industries really has. Hollywood declined to support one of its own despite two undeniable facts: What impacts one studio will bring fallout to the rest (see: Paramount's cancellation of Team America screenings), and that Hollywood is bowing to terrorists who haven't even been properly identified yet. North Korea is indeed a suspect, yes (and the above photoshop is brilliant), but neither Sony nor the U.S. government have officially pointed to them as the culprit -- anonymous officials excluded. [Update: The FBI has formally accused North Korea of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment. Source: Reuters]

While the rest of the world waits for additional information to be disclosed, be it additional response from the government, or plans for an eventual release of The Interview, the lack of wagon-circling by Hollywood is surprising, to say the least.

Source: Deadline
Image Credit: Elle Hardy (Twitter)

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.

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Is Clooney freakin' kidding me?

Clooney continued, "After the Obama joke, no one was going to get on the side of Amy [Pascal, co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures Entertainment], and so suddenly, everyone ran for the hills. Look, I can't make an excuse for that joke, it is what it is, a terrible mistake. Having said that, it was used as a weapon of fear, not only for everyone to disassociate themselves from Amy but also to feel the fear themselves. They know what they themselves have written in their emails, and they're afraid."

An email used as a weapon of fear? You freakin' idiot. You mean like a threat to blow up theaters if they show a movie for example. Jesus what a moron. Also, "they know what they themselves hav written in their emails, and they're afraid." Well, if you don't start nothin', won't be nothin'. If you're writing stuff in your WORK emails that could ruin you, you might want to reevaluate that practice. Bunch of idiots. Sony were cowards, this woman Pascal and the man Rudin made racist jokes and should be vilified by the public. Also, in the letter Clooney makes a statement that "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." Sorry Georgie boy. That's exactly what Sony has just done.

Ah, so the FBI has pointed a finger?

I wonder if it will actually go anywhere.

Why does the author seem to be chastising Hollywood here? The line about not having backbone... Unless I'm reading that wrong, which side are you on? I think Hollywood not backing Clooney and the cowardly move they took seems to be the right thing to do.

I'm confused the petition at the bottom seems to sound like it's against pulling The Interview. Yet the article seems to insinuate Clooney was trying to do the opposite.

The Hungry Samurai:
I'm confused the petition at the bottom seems to sound like it's against pulling The Interview. Yet the article seems to insinuate Clooney was trying to do the opposite.

agreed. This whole article is put together in a confusing way that doesn't make any one's positions clear. Furthermore, Clooney doesn't appear to understand the situation either, saying they want to support sony's decision to NOT back down, even though Sony HAS backed down...

martyrdrebel27:
Why does the author seem to be chastising Hollywood here?

Because Hollywood is bowing to the demands of terrorists who would ruin our way of life in every aspect if we did so every time we were threatened.

Heh...ok, this is a serious issue, though blown way out of proportion, but I love the idea of Clooney running round not getting anyone to sign his petition. Funnier is if bat-nipples were involved, though.

MarsAtlas:

martyrdrebel27:
Why does the author seem to be chastising Hollywood here?

Because Hollywood is bowing to the demands of terrorists who would ruin our way of life in every aspect if we did so every time we were threatened.

right, but that's where the poorly constructed article screws things up. We know Sony gave in, we know Clooney was trying to support Sony, and we know Hollywood didn't back that pairing. That context makes it seem like Hollywood was condemning Sony for giving into terrorists. Bad article is bad.

One way or the other, Hollywood are cowards.

Worse though, will be the fallout to other industries and the mainstream press. I can guarantee that this coupled with Snowden's whistleblowing will lead to a demonisation and aggrandisation of hackers and 'hackers'(ie people who just DDoS, which, as someone has aptly put it once, is to hacking what a hammer is to knee surgery).

With this, and Blackhat being a real movie that someone is making, Hollywood is effectively leading the foray in misinforming and scaring the masses.

Scratch that earlier statement. Hollywood aren't just cowards, they're idiots.

martyrdrebel27:
right, but that's where the poorly constructed article screws things up. We know Sony gave in, we know Clooney was trying to support Sony, and we know Hollywood didn't back that pairing. That context makes it seem like Hollywood was condemning Sony for giving into terrorists. Bad article is bad.

Yeah, "support" in this context is confusing. Pretty sure at this point though that Clooney's petition was from before Sony chickened out, back when Sony said that they were going to stand their ground. Anybody who knows about Clooney's politics, however, could probably guess where he stood on the issue of the film being pulled. Its a shame to see these celebrities more worried about the content of their emails being dumped than an act of terrorism, but that begs the question, what is in their emails that is so bad that it could ruin their careers?

Bowing to threats of terrorism, not terrorism proper.

Personally, I find the entire situation hilarious.

Hollywood has long deserved a solid kick to the balls, and watching bigwigs scramble for damage-control as their dirty laundry is shown to the world is comedy gold.

Ok, i clicked on the Obama joke link and was truly insulted...Adam sandler - top talent?? I dont want live on this planet anymore!!
*Runs off and sobs in corner*

Ill return when i calm down...

If I remember the article I read about this earlier right, the petition was long before Sony pulled the Interview.

In fact, I think it was pretty soon after the first hack occurred. Clooney wanted people to rally around Sony to show that Sony wasn't alone on an island and that the other studios (and I believe the MPAA) would stand up with them while shit hit the fan. This obviously did not occur because everyone was so damn terrified that if they backed Sony they'd get lumped in with Sony and suffer their own attacks.

The petition was circulated before the cancellation of The Interview, yes. I updated the post to clarify this.

-Devin Connors

Oh man this is a delicious detail.
I also really enjoyed the reading comprehension fails in the first few comments.

Clooney is cool, the others not so much hahaha.

It's good to know Hollywood prioritizes profits over creative freedom. They have been greenlighting more movies over the years with simple plots that easier to make sense after translation and have all the eye candy of big explosions. That's why superhero movies are being pumped out fast. The whole world is watching them. That's fine, but it's come down to censoring things, too. Red Dawn couldn't have Chinese antagonists. That would cut off the big profits from a country of over 1 billion people. So, they switched it to North Korean enemies. Same thing happened with the game Homefront, so it's not just Hollywood but executives scared of loosing that extra income. Now we can't even have North Korea painted in a bad light, even thought they (as in the shmucks pushing around their starving citizens) truly deserve it.

Clooney, as much as I don't like your movies, I'm with you on this one. Now the floodgates are opened. They are empowered by Sony bending to their whim. Another decent attack and vague threats could cripple a completely different industry.

I didn't think I could respect Hollywood any less, but damn, was I wrong. I just want the whole industry to burn to the ground. Props to George Clooney for having a backbone, though, even if he's alone.

I'm just fed up with this entire industry. America has become a nation of cowards.

Hollywood. The second they perceive a social issue they won't shut the fuck up.
Hollywood. The second someone commits and actual crime against them, they get scared and run in the other direction.

I can be against what the hackers did and even more against letting ourselves be swayed by their later threats.

However, the intent of the hack does not change the truth of what it revealed. Sony doesn't deserve support, they did and said all those things. I'll give them a modicum of sympathy because they are a victim of the attack, but I won't pardon them for their trespasses because of it.

God dammit. I fuckimg hate Clooney, but now I have to give him props.

If Batman can't save the movie industry, what chance is there?

Normally, I'd just laugh at all this cowardice and make fun of them, but they're just making it way too easy. They're just so pitifully pathetic that it just makes me sad.

I suddenly have this strange urge to have my PS3 custom painted with the word CLOONEY where once was SONY.

This brings to mind a typical scene in a Western comedy, where the hero is standing in front of the Big Bad and his army, and says "And the townspeople stand with me!"- only to turn around and find that they've headed for the hills.

Pretty much what you would expect from the Film Actors Guild.

They sing shrill little songs about climate change while buying water front property, but when it comes to showing some actual balls on an actual issue, its White Wine!! Fuck Yeah!

 

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