Le Monde | • Updated | By
This is a historic first. Bowing to pressure from hackers who stole him more than 100 terabytes of data, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), a subsidiary of the Japanese electronics giant, canceled, Wednesday, December 17, the output in The rooms Interview, sophomoric comedy duo of actors Seth Rogen and James Franco, which features two journalists charged by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The “hackers” had threatened the producers of attacks in case of release of the film in US theaters on Christmas Day as planned. At the same time, several American media, the New York Times , turns to government sources ensuring that North Korea was “centrally involved” in hacking systems and PES data.
If the cancellation only to relate to US theaters initially, it now seems to expand to the world. The video output on demand and DVD also seem compromised. “Sony Pictures has no further release plan for the film” on Wednesday said a spokesman studio AFP.
The announcement from Sony is booming arrived just hours after the largest US theater chains (AMC, Carmike …) indicated that they do not would broadcast the controversial comedy. US operators have in mind the precedent of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. After the shooting in 2012 in a film this city, the circuit on which depended the room has been sued by families of victims who accused him of not having taken the necessary precautions. If a room projecting The Interview was the object of an attack, its owners can not claim they were unaware of the threats to the film and its viewers.
” Bel propaganda tool “
With the revelation of the synopsis, Pyongyang has indeed reacted very violently, calling the film ” act of war “. This is a particular scene that would have triggered the ire of the North Korean power: the spectacular explosion schoolboy head of the dictator in a torrent of blood
A scene. which US authorities, who viewed the film, would have been nothing wrong. According to the news website The Daily Beast, which reproduces an exchange of emails between the SPE CEO Michael Lynton, and a foreign policy consultant, members of the State Department have estimated that the film presented no threat to National Security calling it a “nice propaganda tool” against one of the toughest regimes in the world.
But if doubts persisted in recent weeks the involvement of the Asian countries in the attack, they seem today to read the American press, more permits. According to Reuters, the role of Pyongyang might even be officially confirmed by a spokesman for Washington.
Meanwhile, the regime of Kim dynasty, while denying involvement in the computer attack, welcomed the action of “Guardians of Peace”, the mysterious organization that claimed piracy, saying it is supporters who have “acting for” North Korea.
The magazine specialized in technology Wired holds, all the same, to recall that hackers have the opportunity to plant false clues to their identity. “When an attacker is apprehended, they write, is that it has made a huge mistake and that one of his accomplices denounced. “
Whatever responsible for the attack, this one leaves the studio very weak. First, because it has lost an investment of $ 80 million (€ 65 million) by giving up market The Interview , with a production budget of $ 44 million dollars and the campaign had cost about 35 million. Then, because the studio was totally isolated throughout the crisis. After a lackluster year at the box office, other Hollywood majors were anxious to preserve the chances of their Christmas movies – The Hobbit for Warner, Exodus for Fox, Hunger Games for Lions Gate … they are relieved by the removal of The Interview .
The image of the studio has been in tatters by four weeks of revelations from tens of thousands of emails that hackers have communicated to the American media. It is unclear how Amy Pascal, co-chair of SPE could keep his job after his unkind judgments of most producers, directors and actors with whom the studio has worked were in the public square. The dropping of The Interview should also deter many producers offer their projects to Sony.
Finally, PES has lost much of its cohesion. Despite the attempt to re-mobilization of troops at a general meeting held Monday, December 15 by Michael Lynton, many employees are concerned about the material consequences of theft of their personal data. In addition, the infighting of the studio have also been brought to light, especially the rivalry between cinema division, most prestigious, and television division. It will take time and money to rebuild the studio, heir to the Harry Cohn of Columbia
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