The reactions to Sony Pictures’ decision to can its movie “The Interview” continue to keep this explosive controversy on the media’s front burner.
North Korea had reportedly promised “merciless” retaliation if the Hollywood comedy about killing the country’s dictatorial leader Kim Jong Un were released.
Former Republican Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was typically blunt in declaring on twitter that America has “lost its first cyberwar.”
Gingrich joined another past GOP presidential contender, Mitt Romney, in saying that Sony shouldn’t bury the movie about a fictitious CIA assassination plot against North Korea’s leader, but should release it for free online.
Despite the fact that a number of major theater chains are now refusing to show “The Interview,” President Obama is advising people to “go to the movies” and not be afraid of a possible terrorist attack.
Fox News is reporting that U.S. officials and cyber-security experts are now saying that North Korea was very likely behind the hack attack that has laid siege to Sony Pictures over the past few weeks and led to the studio’s decision to pull the plug on “The Interview.”
And now another major movie that has been in the works for a while is being deep-sixed in the turbulent wake of the furor over “The Interview” and the threatened retaliation by North Korea because of fictional aggression against Kim Jong Un.
The Daily Mail reports that Steve Carell’s slated new North-Korea-themed flick, “Pyongyang” — set to begin shooting in March — has been cancelled because of the Sony hacking scandal and its widespread aftershocks.
Following the news that Pyongyang has been scrapped, Steve Carell tweeted to his 3.64million followers: “Sad day for creative expression,” followed by the hashtag, “feareatsthesoul.”
A short time later, the former star of The Office tweeted a black-and-white photo of Charlie Chaplin as a fictionalized version of Adolf Hitler in his 1941 classic “The Great Dictator.”
The stars of “The Interview,” James Franco and Seth Rogen, have cancelled all media appearances promoting their film and are now reportedly accompanied by bodyguards.
Over the past two weeks, a shadowy group calling itself the Guardians of Peace hacked Sony’s IT networks, releasing years’ worth of emails, many of them a huge embarrassment to the senders, as Western Journalism has previously reported.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.