Add George Clooney to the growing list of celebrities criticizing Sony’s decision to pull the movie “The Interview” after an unknown individual or group calling themselves “The Guardians of Peace” threatened to attack theaters if the comedy – which depicts the assassination of North Koran leader Kim Jong Un—was shown.
The Oscar-winning actor told show business website Deadline.com on Thursday that many in the movie industry “ran for the hills” when he asked them to sign his petition supporting the movie. Clooney added, “We should be in the position right now of going on offense with this. Stick it online. 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 this movie.”
Sony made the decision to shelve the film on Wednesday after the country’s largest movie theater chains decided against running the “The Interview,” afraid the threats would affect the ticket sales of all movies during the busy holiday season.
Federal officials are expected to give official word on Friday on who was behind the hack on Sony, which could lose $75 million for not showing the film on the big screen. Sony’s computer system were breached following a hacking attack last month, which resulted in the release of embarrassing emails and confidential documents. Sony has suggested the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will not be released on any platform.
Investigators have indicated they believe the hack and threats against theaters stem from North Korea.
Clooney told Deadline, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong Un, of all f–king people.”
Many other celebrities have echoed Clooney’s sentiment this week, arguing that pulling the movie is tantamount to surrender.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel said on his show, “allowing a ruthless dictator of another country decide what American people can or cannot see in our own country is like everything we’re supposed to stand for.”
Actor Rob Lowe, who is in the movie, tweeted, “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.” Actor Ben Stiller tweeted that the decision was a “threat to freedom of expression.” Director Judd Apatow asked if theaters will “pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?”