Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO has admitted that more could have been done to help Sony in the wake of last year’s disaster.
When hackers stole terabytes of data from Sony networks and crippled the company’s digital infrastructure, the film industry distanced itself from the studio at a time when it needed more backing.
It was not clear who the hackers were while the industry went into total meltdown over thousands of leaked emails that embarrassed hundreds of executives and damaged reputations across Hollywood. The fallout was so bad it spilled over to several countries including Canada where technicians who had worked on Sony productions were warned about their data being stolen.
However, in all the noise, and George Clooney’s apparent failure to rally the troops to defend Sony and condemn the hack, it looked like things couldn’t get any worse. They did.
When the hackers then stepped up their threats with terrorist like demands, theatres pulled out, and the film’s wide release was shattered. Then President Obama got dragged into the controversy, along with Sony’s CEO who traded arguments on national TV about ‘The Interview’ and why it should/should not be shown.
At the end of the day, it got a theatrical VOD release with the backing of independent theatres, but in all the drama, other studios had tuned out and watched their own backs.
While Sony was trying to rebuild its shattered image, other companies were panicking and re-enforcing their systems while the MPAA and Google got into an ugly public battle over a new push for a revived SOPA Bill.
Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara spoke this week at the Code/Media Conference for the first time about Sony and admitted that:
“It all happened so fast, and I would say for myself, because I can’t speak for the industry, we could have, and should have done more, for Michael and Sony.”
With the future of the film business heading towards VOD, and companies relying heavily on digital infrastructure, can the industry really afford to be divided when this kind of criminal activity affects everyone?
The debacle of the Sony hack is still fresh on people’s minds and despite lots of advances in the past few months from a security standpoint, the industry has yet to figure out how to work as a team when it faces an attack such as this.