“Obviously, most of the blame goes to the hackers who made the violent threats, and we share everyone’s immediate and real concerns about safety,” he told Variety. “But we are also alarmed that studios might constrict the range of issues addressed in their movies. Good stories often make powerful people angry, or inspire powerful feelings in people who might now feel emboldened to make threats of their own.”
Peterson appeared on a variety of outlets on Wednesday and Thursday — including “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” “Good Morning America,” “Ronan Farrow Daily,” “Closing Bell With Liz Claman,” “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” and “BBC Radio 4 pm News.” The studio ditched the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy in the wake of threats by Sony hackers of a terror attack on theaters showing the movie.
“The media and entertainment communities need to make it clear that we will not shy away from controversial or difficult subjects,” Peterson added. “Writers and other creators want to tell those stories, and audiences want to hear them.”
Peterson also took to Twitter to make his case.
Our members' job is to write the truth, even if it angers the powerful. Buckling to threats (see: The Interview) undermines all writers.
— Lowell Peterson (@LowellPeterson) December 18, 2014
The New York-based WGA East represents about 4,000 members. The other major show business unions, including the WGA West, SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America, have yet to comment on “The Interview.”