LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The fallout from a cyber attack on Sony Pictures over its release of the controversial “The Interview” has altered the way Hollywood does business, according to a panel of industry experts.
As part of a special broadcast Tuesday titled “Lights, Camera, Terror: Hacking Hollywood”, KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman and Tom Haule talked to guests, including Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief & CEO of The Wrap entertainment website, and Matthew Belloni, executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter to get their takes after the hacking of Sony’s computers over “The Interview.”
Waxman said Sony was warned about potential repercussions over releasing the Seth Rogen film, which earned about $1 million after its Christmas Day opening despite playing on movie screens at only about 300 independent theaters nationwide.
“It was flagged, and they made a conscious choice at the studio to support what Seth Rogen and James Franco wanted to do,” Waxman said. “You do wanna support the artists, but you don’t want to do it at the cost of the entire company, and so that’s what’s on the line.”
While the film’s content may have drummed up a strong opening at the box office, Waxman said the cyber attack has also another profound impact: Company emails between a studio exec and a producer that were leaked as part of the hack have forced other Sony officials to think twice before they compose their next memo.
“It’s a network of relationships that goes back decades, and there’s a certain comfort level that you’re protected,” she said. “But what [the hacking] exposed is that you’re not protected and even though you’re talking among friends, you have to be very careful what you write.”
Belloni said he also thinks a lot of personal relationships in Hollywood will be seriously affected simply by the sheer nastiness of some of the Sony emails leaked by the hackers, which included racial jokes involving President Barack Obama.