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.”