Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

George Clooney, for America

The actor calls out Hollywood cowardice in the Sony affair

Strong stuff from the actor George Clooney, who could not get a single soul in Hollywood to sign his petition in support of Sony against the North Korean cyberattack. Excerpts from the Deadline Hollywood interview:

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 theaters 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.


We have a new paradigm, a new reality, and we’re going to have to come to real terms with it all the way down the line. This was a dumb comedy that was about to come out. With the First Amendment, you’re never protecting Jefferson; it’s usually protecting some guy who’s burning a flag or doing something stupid. This is a silly comedy, but the truth is, what it now says about us is a whole lot.


Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f*cking people.

Read the whole thing.

Let’s say you are The New York Times or the Washington Post, and you have a big story on North Korea, or a group like ISIS. You know that if you publish it, they might come at you and hack into your computer system and distribute all the information they find there. What do you do?