Aaron Sorkin Slams Journalists for Publishing Hacked Sony Documents

Aaron Sorkin
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

“The Newsroom” creator Aaron Sorkin has a message for real-life newsrooms, taking aim at publications posting leaked Sony documents in a new op-ed.

Published on the New York Times’ website Sunday evening, Sorkin acknowledged the fact that his name was brought up in many of the emails, given that he wrote the “Jobs” biopic that’s at the center of a few of the leaked email squabbles, but clarified that he’s not why he’s calling out the publications posting the hacked data.

“Because I and two movies of mine get a little dinged up, I feel I have the credibility to say this: I don’t care,” he writes. “Because the minor insults that were revealed are such small potatoes compared to the fact that they were revealed. Not by the hackers, but by American journalists helping them.”

The screenwriter also called upon fellow Hollywood leaders, writing “Wouldn’t it be a movie moment if the other studios invoked the NATO rule and denounced the attack on Sony as an attack on all of us, and our bedrock belief in free expression?”

Sorkin called out a specific Variety piece as well, titled “Why Publishing Stolen Sony Data is Problematic but Necessary,” in which Variety co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein writes about the moral dilemma of publishing the pieces and the “uneasy” rationale regarding why the leaks can’t be ignored.

“The co-editor in chief of Variety tells us he decided that the leaks were — to use his word — ‘newsworthy,'” says Sorkin. “I’m dying to ask him what part of the studio’s post-production notes on Cameron Crowe’s new project is newsworthy.”

Sorkin ends the piece by encouraging readers to picture the hackers in a room, “combing through the documents to find the ones that will draw the most blood,” and then to picture the journalists doing the same.

Sony has been under a massive cyberattack since Nov. 24 by a group calling itself Guardians of Peace. Since then, personal information such as company salaries and employees’ social security numbers have leaked online. The hack also resulted in the release of such new Sony films as “Fury,” “Annie” and “Still Alice” to hit torrent sites.

Emails between those at the studio have also leaked, which Variety has reported on, including an exchange in which producer Scott Rudin called Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat” and one between Rudin and Sony co-chair Amy Pascal where the two made racially tinged jokes about President Barack Obama. Both have since apologized for the jokes.

Many have wondered if the hack is coming from North Korea due to Sony’s “The Interview,” which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a duo with a mission to assassinate that country’s leader, Kim Jong-un. North Korea denied involvement but called the hack “a righteous deed.”

Federal authorities are investigating the source of the attack. One FBI official said “level of sophistication” in the hacking attack was “extremely high, and we can tell based on our investigative efforts to date, organized and certainly persistent.”

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  1. Ide Clair says:

    Did you liberal moonbats complain about the injustice of the hacking of private emails when Sarah Palin’s were hacked? Probably not. And now….the ‘outed’ liberals are kissing the ring of al sharpton’s on the road to absolution. You phony elitists … What goes around comes around.

  2. Daisey Girl says:

    Please tell me what the difference is between the publication of the Pentagon Papers or the materials which were released by Edward Snowden. If the rumors are to be believed, this activity is being underwritten by the North Korean government, as a reaction to a comedy that the studio released which was a satirical view of their political system. Why is it ok to publish material that can endanger our people and methods of intelligence and yet the Hollywood Elite chafe at the thought that hackers bring embarrassing gossip into the light? These emails illuminate the hypocracy that is afloat; especially the cozy relationship between race baiters Sharpton and Jackson and the limousine liberals that run the company.. Do you think the current head of the Justice Department will investigate alleged cash payments made to purchase Sharpton and Jackson’s silence? This is the more important story.

  3. Paul says:

    Hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite! What would Sorkin be saying if George W was the one who was hacked?

  4. Drake L.A. says:

    I think some of these celebs are just being loyal certain execs because it’s smart business. He can’t be operating on principle because he’s basically saying anything people do in private should be kept private which is an unreasonable standard.

    • vfunct says:

      Really? You don’t think people should have the expectation of privacy?

      These people are worse than the NSA. At least the NSA only keeps their data on their own servers. They don’t blab it to millions of people for a cheap $0.01/CPM click-bait article like these scumbags are doing.

      We should hold journalists to a higher standard of privacy.

  5. Jackson says:

    Oh no Aaron, someone leaked some emails, that make you look like an asshole…

    THIS JUST IN… we already knew that.

    The real victims here are the people at Sony that have to listen to you whine about being able to pay your daughter’s tuition right after they’ve handed you a million dollar check.

  6. Mystery Linux says:

    Praise GoP

  7. Will says:

    He’s right.

  8. Reblogged this on Mark Phillips and commented:
    I so enjoy Aaron Sorkin.

  9. jhs39 says:

    So…Aaron Sorkin thinks news organizations not publishing any information from the leaked e-mails would be a victory for free expression? I always suspected that Aaron Sorkin was a pompous ass–thanks for providing the definitive proof. The only thing I wonder at this point was whether Sorkin wrote the op-ed piece himself or was taking credit for the work of someone on his writing staff from The Newsroom.

    • Johnnie says:

      Would you have the same opinion if the hacked information brought down your favorite conservative politician?
      I didn’t think so.

      • The Butcher says:

        Are you suggesting that Adam Sorkin is comparable to an elected government official? Really False equivalence, Johnnie. No politicians – conservative or liberal, favorite or otherwise – work at Sony pictures. Making fun of Sorkin’s sanctimoniousness is a pleasure with or without the hack.

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