Actor George Clooney says he and his agent circulated a petition in support of Sony after it became the victim of a massive cyberattack and before it cancelled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview,” but none of the many entertainment figures who were asked to sign it agreed to do so.
Speaking to Deadline Hollywood in an interview published online, Clooney said the way his petition was received shows how scared the industry has become.
“This is just where we are right now, how scared this industry has been made,” Clooney said in a ‘Deadline Hollywood interview published online. “Quite honestly, this would happen in any industry.”
The thrust of the petition circulated by Clooney and his agent, Bryan Lourd, was “we’re not going to give in to a ransom,” Clooney said.
The petition said in part:
“… 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.”
As have other celebrities, Clooney said the news media focused inordinately on the embarrassing emails the hackers uncovered, including from Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal, instead of the threats to American freedoms.
“A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty. They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on. With just a little bit of work, you could have found out that it wasn’t just probably North Korea; it was North Korea,” he said.