The Daily Fix: Hollywood Exposed and Outraged After North Korea Hacks and Threats
The huge Sony Pictures Entertainment email leak, which many believe was the work of North Korean hackers, has been called a “national security issue” by Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. Revelations in the hacked messages, including racist remarks and insults directed to major stars, appear to be tearing apart the film industry.
In an interview with Deadline Hollywood, George Clooney said that the Sony email hacks and threats over The Interview, a comedy about an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, could have a “chilling effect” in Hollywood, causing film studios to hesitate before taking on controversial projects.
Other celebrities have also criticized Sony for canceling The Interview’s premiere. Steve Carell called it “a sad day for creative expression,” according to The New York Times.
Hollywood and major tech companies don’t always cry foul if major film studios cave to government demands for censorship. When governments such as China's demand oversight and input on content, filmmakers are often happy to oblige, according to TakePart.
Director Steven Soderbergh told The New York Times, “I’m not morally offended or outraged” by having to censor films for a Chinese market. “It’s fascinating to listen to people’s interpretations of your story.”
In other news….
Environmentalists Rejoice: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned hydraulic fracking in New York because of concerns about health risks. While environmental groups celebrated the decision, communities that had been counting on fracking to boost their struggling economies are upset about the ban. (via The New York Times)
He'll Be Back: Thursday was the final Comedy Central broadcast of the The Colbert Report. The show’s nine-year run is ending because Colbert will be taking over Late Show after David Letterman retires in May 2015. (via The Huffington Post)
All Eyes on Cuba: As the United States works to clarify its new relationships with Cuba, U.S. companies are angling to do business in the previously embargoed country, and cigar smokers are anxious to get their hands on legal Cohibas. (via Bloomberg)
Pakistan Retaliates After School Massacre: On Tuesday, Islamist militants killed more than 120 children in a Pakistani school. In retaliation for the attacks, the Pakistani military has targeted and killed more than 75 militants via air strikes and on the ground. (via USA Today)
Bleeding Them Dry: Despite huge tax breaks and charity status, nonprofit hospitals in five states are garnishing patients’ wages if they can’t afford to pay their bills. (via ProPublica)
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