clock menu more-arrow no yes

George Clooney unloads on Hollywood and the media over the Sony hacks

Actor George Clooney arrives for the red carpet of Omega Le Jardin Secret dinner party on May 16, 2014 in Shanghai, China.
Actor George Clooney arrives for the red carpet of Omega Le Jardin Secret dinner party on May 16, 2014 in Shanghai, China.
Feng Li/Getty Images
  1. George Clooney told Deadline that he circulated a letter supporting Sony around Hollywood, but no one signed it.
  2. "We cannot be told we can't see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f*cking people," Clooney said.

Clooney's letter

Clooney sent a letter around to powerful people in Hollywood, but no one signed it. Here is what that letter said:

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.

No one was willing to sign the statement, Clooney told Deadline. "This is just where we are right now, how scared this industry has been made."

Clooney blames the media

"A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty," Clooney said. "They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on." His point is that while the press was lapping up embarrassing details from the hacks, they were aiding and abetting a kind of intimidation campaign that, ultimately, will be used against them, too. "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?" Clooney asks. "Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down."

Clooney begins the interview talking about why Sony pulled the movie. He says that Sony didn't pull The Interview because they were scared, but because all of the theaters decided not to run it and, "because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you're going to be responsible."

"Do whatever you can to get this movie out," Clooney told Amy Pascal, the head of Sony Pictures. "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 f*cking people."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.