Sony's controversial decision to cancel the release of ''The Interview'', is getting mixed reviews- some saying they had no choice- but others fearful of the broader consequences to hollywood. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Sony's decision's to cancel all distribution of "The Interview" - a comedy about the fictional assissination of the North Korean leader - after attack threats from hackers- is creating even more controversy. The Japanese company could lose millions of dollars invested in the project and faces biting criticism for caving into the demands of anonymous hackers. It may also set a precedent for other studios when faced with similar threats and pressures. But investors took the news in stride and pushed Sony shares up on Thursday - many seeing the decision as the only viable business option to protect the company. S&P Capital IQ's Efraim Levy: SOUNDBITE: EFRAIM LEVY, EQUITY ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They could either take the financial hit or if it released to the theaters and God forbid there was an attack can you imagine what would happen then." The decision triggered a firestorm of criticsm on social media and the internet aimed at the giant studio for practicing self-censorship. Mike Paul, president of Reputation Doctor LLC - says Sony's call was a bad move: SOUNDBITE: MIKE PAUL, PRESIDENT, REPUTATION DOCTOR LLC (ENGLISH) SAYING: 30 48 "Who are you kidding? It's going to get leaked. Many films get leaked. There is a price on this for it to be leaked right now. You have just given control on this to others. How are you going to make money on a leak while you are not going to have the dvd or a streaming option anytime soon. That makes no sense to me." U.S. government sources said that investigators determined the hack attack last month -- which stole sensitive e-mails and released films on the internet -- was "state sponsored" by North Korea, which denied it was behind the hacking. And this is not the first time movies have faced political controversy and in some cases the ire of North Korea - NBC news compiled a small list of films that included The Sacha Baron Cohen mocumentary Borat that poked fun at Kazakhstan, which wanted to sue the comedian. The 2011 release of Red Dawn - which had planned to use Chinese soldiers until the studio backed down under pressure from China and digitally replaced them with North Korean soldiers. And Team America - which featured marionettes trying to save the world from the then dictator of North Korea- Kim Jong Ill - the father of the current head of state, Kim Jong Un. SOUNDBITE: MIKE PAUL, PRESIDENT, REPUTATION DOCTOR LLC (ENGLISH) SAYING: " I think the son is certainly let's just say more controversial some say a little bit more of a tyrant and more of a risk to the world than his father." A risk Sony just wasn't willing to take - and one that realistically will have ramifications in hollywood: SOUNDBITE: EFRAIM LEVY, EQUITY ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think most movies are going to be neutral. They won't be in this case if you want to call it politically incorrect but you now I think there could be some timidity in some topics, I think, without going into anything specific there are certain bad guys that no longer show up in the movies because of political correctness." The $44 million comedy had been set to debut on Dec. 25, Christmas Day. The four largest theater chains in the United States and several smaller chains said they would not show the film as a result of the hacker's threats.