The Directors Guild of America has publicly thrown its support behind The Interview directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg after theater owners and Sony bowed to cyberterrorist threats and canceled the film’s Christmas release.
In a statement issued today, DGA President Paris Barclay called on the US government to protect Hollywood and its creatives from future hacking crimes like the one that devastated Sony Pictures.
“As the events of the past weeks have made painfully clear, we are now living in an age in which the Internet can enable a few remote cyber criminals to hold an entire industry hostage. This unprecedented situation demonstrates that even basic rights such as freedom of expression can quickly fall prey to those who would misuse and abuse the Internet to steal from, intimidate and terrorize our industry and our nation, and stands as an excruciating illustration of the heightened need for the federal government to increase its efforts to protect our society against cyber crimes, terrorism and all of its implications.”
“We hope that instead of the ‘chilling effect’ on controversial content, this incident becomes a rallying point for all of us who care about freedom of expression to come together and champion this inalienable right. We stand by our director members Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and hope that a way can be found to distribute the film by some means, to demonstrate that our industry is not cowed by extremists of any type.”
Conversely, a statement issued by the MPAA today tsk-tsked the media for devouring private emails and trade secrets found in leaked Sony emails, while calling the hacking attack “a despicable, criminal act.”
President Obama today promised that Washington will deliver an “appropriate and proportional response” to the North Korean government, which the FBI officially fingered as behind the Sony hacking.
“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” federal investigators said today.
In addressing the Sony cyberattack Friday, President Obama also said the studio “made a mistake” in caving to the terrorists.
“Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage, threats against some employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns they faced. Having said that, yes I think they made a mistake. That’s not what America is about…I wish they’d spoken to me first. I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks’.”