Updated Dec. 17 at 1pm in Hong Kong
For the past few weeks, much of the business and entertainment media has been enraptured by an extraordinarily damaging cyber attack against Sony Pictures.
Despite public denials, most people in the film business think the hack has been carried out by North Korea, in retaliation for the imminent release of The Interview, a film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which features a fictional plot to assassinate the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
Many of the details that have filtered out in recent weeks so far have ranged from trivial to scandalous. Until now, there have been questions about the ethics and security of publishing reports on the cache. But today, the saga became unambiguously serious, raising legitimate questions about the safety of the public at large, not just the interests of a major corporation.
According to Kevin Roose at Fusion, who has been leading much of the reporting on this story, a message posted by someone purporting to be the hackers, known as Guardians of Peace, today on the file sharing site Pastebin reads as follows:
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
The warning has spooked the actors and the entertainment industry in general. BuzzFeed reports that Franco and Rogen have cancelled all press appearances, and Carmike Cinemas, the US’s fourth-largest cinema chain, won’t show the film, Bloomberg reports.
The film’s New York premiere, which was scheduled for Thursday evening at the Sunshine Cinema and a bar on the Lower East Side, has also reportedly been cancelled: