Excerpted from The Daily Beast: Exclusive: Sony Emails Say State Department Blessed Kim Jong-Un Assassination in ‘The Interview’
CEO Michael Lynton showed a rough cut of the movie to U.S. officials before moving ahead. Now hackers are threatening to bomb any theater that shows it.
The Daily Beast has unearthed several emails that reveal at least two U.S. government officials screened a rough cut of the Kim Jong-Un assassination comedy The Interview in late June and gave the film—including a final scene that sees the dictator’s head explode—their blessing.
The claim that the State Department played an active role in the decision to include the film’s gruesome death scene is likely to cause fury in Pyongyang. Emails between the Sony Entertainment CEO and a security consultant even appear to suggest the U.S. government may support the notion that The Interview would be useful propaganda against the North Korean regime.
Back on June 20, the first threat lobbed by North Korean officials against the holiday blockbuster seemed as empty as a North Korean villager’s lunch box.
The Seth Rogen/James Franco-starrer, which centers on a TV host and his producer being tasked by the CIA with assassinating North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un, was branded “an act of war.” Studio executives at distributor Sony Pictures and the general public mostly laughed it off as yet another example of muscle-flexing by the rotund ruler.
But now, the controversy surrounding the political satire has gotten serious.
In late November, a group that calls itself the Guardians of Peace breached Sony’s company servers, and leaked several large caches of private internal data online, including the emails of several top Sony executives, Social Security numbers and private info of employees, screeners of upcoming feature films, and more. Some believe it to be the work of North Korean hackers as payback for The Interview, Keep reading