All it takes to cancel a movie premiere is an anonymous Pastebin post

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

The New York premiere of the Sony film “The Interview” has been cancelled.

BBC News report

The reason?

Someone posted this anonymously on PasteBin:

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We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

Yes, you read that correctly. It was an anonymous post to PasteBin.

Once that you, I, or my Aunty Hilda could have just as easily made as anybody else on the planet.

And anonymous threats of physical violence made via the internet are enough to cancel a movie premiere.

What a strange world we live in. And what a dangerous precedent to set.

PS. I hate to nitpick with those who make anonymous threats, but I have to take issue with “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made”.

Maybe it is an awful movie – personally I’m much more inclined to want to see it after all this publicity than I would have been otherwise – but aren’t the bad guys being rather defeatist by saying that “soon all the world will see it”.

I thought their supposed demand was that no-one should see it in case it poked fun at North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un?

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

6 comments on “All it takes to cancel a movie premiere is an anonymous Pastebin post”

  1. Coyote

    I was wondering if you'd post something about this. But this was before it was cancelled. Or if it was already, I didn't know it (this was yesterday). Interesting I have some thoughts on it. First, though, as for your nitpick, and maybe it is that it is 6:35 (about) and I'm only getting up (which really means I've slept in.. but that is nitpicking too!):

    “soon all the world will see it”.

    Actually.. I think I know what you mean. To think I was _that_ literal of a thinker. Funny I didn't even realise just how much so. I was looking at their word for word and it did not end with 'it'. But you mean: since they have "will see … has made." which implies that the world has seen IT (To judge it). Right?

    "What a strange world we live in. And what a dangerous precedent to set."

    Indeed we do live in a strange world. As for precedent or not, my take is different if only for their possible reasoning (their own hide is maybe better worded!): imagine if the threat was actually followed through. Then imagine what would happen to their company? Of course, in either case they couldn't do anything right – someone will complain no matter what you do (or don't). But I can imagine the many legal issues (even if not justified). As it is, there were payouts to victims, by the US, for an organisation (not a state!) carrying out an attack on a nation. By all means, help them recover, but if there was anything other than that, that's hard to fathom (and maybe it is only helping them but I thought it was more than that).

    And as for the threat itself, and this is something too many do not recognise: they already succeeded in what they wanted. The very idea of terror in general (and therefore I'm leaving out the -ism) is fear. They did exactly that: they insilled fear. They won here. There was no premiere because of fear.

  2. Andy

    Now I want to see some mediocre movie starting the less than talented Canadian Seth Rogan. I don't think it's worth $9 in a theater full of cell phones glows from the constant texting. I'll wait for it to hit redbox.

    1. Janet · in reply to Andy

      I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would contemplate making this film given the times we live in. Boggles the mind.

      1. Coyote · in reply to Janet

        I will argue that you can say that kind of thing for any time that humans have been around. This is just like the kids of today claim "you don't understand it… things are so different for us kids nowadays". (Ironically there is one thing that is very much the same: their misunderstanding of the previous generation, and otherwise thinking they're different). Never mind the fact they don't have a clue about previous generations, the fact remains every generation says that about something ('every generation' means many of – I most certainly did not make claims like this but I do remember many did).

        This type of thinking is nothing new. It is like a revisioning system, perhaps with patches being applied every so often (unless you're looking out the window… in which case you might be applying patches far more often).

        But most important: Hollywood is… Hollywood. In the end, it doesn't matter since it was cancelled (imagine they aren't at all impressed with this outcome as it has bit them in every way possible).

  3. Coyote

    Sony has cancelled it outright, it seems :

    Some stars of The Interview have pulled out of media appearances

    Sony Pictures has cancelled the planned US release on 25 December of the film The Interview, after major cinema chains decided not to screen it.

    The film is about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

    "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release," it said.

    "We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers."

    It added: "We stand by our film makers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."


  4. RealityBites

    Sony should re-shoot the camel and goat sex scenes with Kum dumb Jongy and release the film for free everywhere.

    North korean monkeys should be ridiculed, the cowards haven't thrown over their loser baby leader.

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