Paramount ask US cinemas NOT to show Team America in wake of Sony hack
We've intentionally steered well clear of covering the Sony Pictures hack for ethical reasons - others have and that's their prerogative, but we feel that any privacy violation should be treated with respect. However, the impact of the hack and subsequent threat of terrorist actions on US soil has now seen the (possibly permanent) mothballing of one unreleased film; Seth Rogen and James Franco's The Interview.
Many cinemas had decided to show Team America in it's place - the Matt Stone/Trey Parker Thunderbirds-style comedy that poked fun at the previous North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. However, this evening, Paramount have now requested that cinemas do NOT show the film.
The cancellation of The Interview set a very worrying precedent - one of capitulating to terrorist demands; this second event, which right now appears to be a precautionary decision that isn't based on any specific or revealed threat, shows that these hackers now have Hollywood running scared. Other planned films have also either been cancelled or changed in the wake of the last few weeks revelations and any film that is critical or mocking of a leader of any dictatorial nation state will likely struggle to find any financial backers.
We don't like the implications of these decisions, but we should emphasise that there is probably a lot happening right now that we don't know and it is a very fluid situation so the urge to accuse studios of cowardice should be contained. The US have also now made a statement that they believe that the threat and hack ARE a matter of national security and while they previously said they had no knowledge of a credible threat it could be that has now changed.