Why were the Sony hackers able to get their way and completely shut down The Interview? Too few were willing to stand up to them.
And unfortunately those that did try to fight back somehow were left high and dry.
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It turns out one of the people trying to rally the troops to stand up against the terrorist threats was George Clooney.
The Good Night, And Good Luck star, wary of the ramifications of giving in to terrorist demands, believed that the only way to combat the threat was to create a united front.
To that end, he created this petition and presented it to every studio head he could:
"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. They 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."
Unfortunately, they didn't stand together.
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George says that no one signed the petition for fear of ending up like Sony co-chair Amy Pascal. He said:
"After the Obama joke, no one was going to get on the side of Amy, 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."
George believes that the trouble arises when everyone acts only out of self interest, and that if we don't come together and make a stand, this could affect more than just Hollywood. He said:
"As we watched one group be completely vilified, nobody stood up. Nobody took that stand. Now, I say this is a situation we are going to have to come to terms with, a new paradigm and a new way of handling our business. Because this could happen to an electric company, a car company, a newsroom. It could happen to anybody."
It's a chilling possibility.
We just hope that if George is right, America can at least learn from this and find a way to stand together before other businesses are attacked.
[Image via Bauer Griffin Online.]
Tags: business blitz, film flickers, george clooney, north korea, politik, sony, the interview