George Clooney: No One Supported My Sony Petition
Star says Hollywood was too scared to stand beside studio...
The Hollywood star and political activist has revealed that he attempted to circulate a letter and petition stating solidarity with Sony Pictures after it was targeted by hackers supporting North Korea.
Speaking to Deadline he explained his frustration: "Here, we're talking about an actual country deciding what content we're going to have.
"This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That's the truth.
"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? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down.
"Sony didn't pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theatres said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you're going to be responsible."
He also revealed that not a single person in the film business had signed a letter he circulated pledging support and solidarity with the studio as it was targeted.
"It was a large number of people," he said. "It was sent to basically the heads of every place. They told Bryan Lourd, 'I can't sign this.'
"What? How can you not sign this? I'm not going to name anyone, that's not what I'm here to do, but nobody signed the letter."
And he continued: "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."
And in case you were curious, here is the text of George's letter in full...
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.