Published On: Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015

Media, Hollywood Still Facing Harsh Criticism over Cowardly Response to Cyber Attacks

the interview

Journalists and studio executives are still being hammered over how they responded to a massive hacking of Sony Pictures and subsequent threats of violence against theaters showing North Korea-themed satire “The Interview.”

The Daily Telegraph said that the reaction of both the film industry and the press to the cyberattack scandal has been reprehensible.

“Underneath it all, the motivation is ugly: the core of the concern about the hacking scandal has been the leaked emails and personal embarrassment, not a potential act of terrorism, whether it is from an infantile necrocracy in possession of nukes or others seemingly willing to do their bidding”, the Telegraph said.

In an industry so heavily unionized, there was no coalescing behind Sony; in an industry that is supposed to be based on free expression, there were no unifying first principles. It took lone voices, most notably George Clooney, to take a stand, the report said.

His condemnation of the reaction to hacking also highlighted a weak and immature media that until his intervention had devoted most of its resources to investigating emails about actors rather than investigating an act of apparent terrorism by a rogue state, according to the Telegraph.

After Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal was shown in leaked emails to have made race-laden jokes about U.S. President Obama, no one, as Clooney pointed out, was going to back her. This is precisely what the hackers had hoped to achieve, the report said.

Pascal has since issued an apology, saying: “The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am.”
“Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended”, she said, according to The Capital Wide.

Sony Pictures threatened to sue Twitter if it didn’t punish users who post information that was obtained in the attack, the Telegraph said.

Amy Pascal is one of the most powerful women in the man’s world that is Hollywood and the force behind such critical and commercial hits as “The Social Network” and “American Hustle”, AP said last month.

Crisis-management specialist Michael Levine said corporate leaders are far more forgiving of those who are generating profits, especially since Pascal followed the “four golden rules of redemption” after the email leak: contrition, humility, taking responsibility and responding quickly, according to AP.

“If one is successful for an organization, they’re given every benefit of the doubt, ” he said.

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