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Sony Cancels Roll-Out of 'The Interview' After Threats Cause Theater Chains to Dump It

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has canceled its Christmas Day roll-out of the James Franco-Seth Rogen film The Interview after hacker threats of a 9/11-style terror attack spooked theater chains into dropping the film.

Wrote Sony in a statement:

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

Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

The hacker group Guardians of Peace, which has been on a damaging data release campaign against the studio after a deep security breach in November, wrote earlier this week that,

"We will clearly show it [our Christmas gift] 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...The world will be full of fear...Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY."

Many are speculating that a North Korean group is behind the hack and the threats because the comedic film features the assassination of Kim Jong Un. Franco and Rogen canceled all appearances for the movie following the threats.

UPDATE: U.S. officials say they have connected the Sony hackers to North Korea, NBC News reports.

The officials say the hacking attack originated outside North Korea, but they believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Koreans.

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," according to a U.S. government source.

The officials offered no further details.


North Korea State Media: Gay UN Official Is 'Disgusting Old Lecher'

Michael Kirby is the openly gay chairperson of the United Nations agency that just published a report which found harsh human rights violations in North Korea. Just two short months after the announcement of the investigation's findings, the country has issued a personal attack on Kirby.

_73038632_de27The criticism comes in the form of an outrageous homophobic editorial published by state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) which not only blasts Kirby, but homosexuality in general.

According to The Washington Post, it reads in part:

As for Kirby who took the lead in cooking the "report", he is a disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality. He is now over seventy, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner. This practice can never be found in the DPRK boasting of the sound mentality and good morals, and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too. In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others' human rights issue.

KCNA went on to describe Kirby and the other authors of the UN report as "dirty swindlers." Read the full North Korean editorial here.

The Washington Post notes the significance of North Korean state media's reference to homosexuality:

...the use of homophobic insults seems exceptional, even for North Korea: A quick search of KCNA appears to show that this is the first time the agency has used the word "homosexual" since the agency went online. Officially,  homosexuality doesn't exist in North Korea, and there appear to be no laws on the books banning it.  In the rare moments it is acknowledged, it is viewed negatively. In an article for NK News published last year, Oliver Hotham wrote that many North Koreans have little knowledge of homosexuality, and it is often viewed as a foreign concept.

Read the full UN report here.


Dennis Rodman Sings 'Happy Birthday' to North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un: VIDEO

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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un today at an exhibition basketball game featuring a team of American basketball players.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

It's the latest in a series of bizarre videos to come out of Rodman's trip, the other two being confrontational interviews with CNN host Chris Cuomo and a group of reporters at the Beijing airport, all of whom demanded to know why Rodman won't address human rights abuses with the North Korean dictator.

The basketball game was a birthday gift for Kim Jong-Un. Critics of Rodman are now suggesting that Rodman may have brought illegal luxury gifts to the North Korean leader.

One Free Korea writes:

Writing at The Weekly Standard today, Dennis Halpin informs us that Dennis Rodman (no relation) was bringing more than his august presence to Kim Jong Un’s birthday party. Halpin, citing a “diplomatic source” he understandably won’t name but says is reliable, claims that Rodman was also carrying “several hundred dollars’ worth of Irish Jameson whiskey,” “European crystal, an Italian suit for him, and Italian clothing, a fur coat, and an English Mulberry handbag” for Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju...

...In his article, Halpin notes that bringing luxury goods into North Korea is prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions (several of them, in fact). Those sanctions were first imposed in 2006, after North Korea’s first nuclear test, as a response to Kim Jong Il’s obscene luxury purchases as his people went hungry.

Continue reading "Dennis Rodman Sings 'Happy Birthday' to North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un: VIDEO" »


Dennis Rodman Explodes at CNN Host in Interview from North Korea: VIDEO

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Former NBA player Dennis Rodman exploded at CNN's Chris Cuomo when challenged about his trip to North Korea and asked why he wouldn't discuss human rights abuses and the detention of Kenneth Bae with dictator Kim Jong-Un. Rodman is on a trip with 11 American basketball players to entertain the North Korean despot for his birthday.

Screamed Rodman:

"Kenneth Bae did one thing ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this...You know, you've got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, they've left their families, they've left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture. That's 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that? Christmas, New Year's ... I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

It was not Rodman's first confrontation with reporters on the reasons for his trip. He was challenged by a group of reporters in the Beijing airport over the weekend and asked the same question Cuomo asked.

Said Rodman: "That's not my job...This game is for his birthday...That’s not the right thing to do. He’s my friend first. He’s my friend. I don’t give a s--t. I tell the world: he’s my f--king friend, I love him.”

Continue reading "Dennis Rodman Explodes at CNN Host in Interview from North Korea: VIDEO" »


Dennis Rodman on North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un: 'He's My F---ing Friend' - VIDEO

Rodman

Dennis Rodman was cornered by a group of reporters in the Beijing airport on his way to North Korea with 11 American basketball players to entertain dictator Kim John-Un for his birthday.

Rodman was grilled on why he won't bring up human rights abuses and prison camps with the dictator since he's the only American with access.

Said Rodman: "That's not my job...This game is for his birthday...That’s not the right thing to do. He’s my friend first. He’s my friend. I don’t give a s--t. I tell the world: he’s my f--king friend, I love him.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dennis Rodman on North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un: 'He's My F---ing Friend' - VIDEO" »


North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Comes Out for Marriage Equality: VIDEO

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In SNL's cold open last night, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un lifted the nation's ban on same-sex marriage because of a gay nephew:

"Watching him suffer unhappiness because of this policy affected me deeply. I still had to have him executed, but not because he was gay. It was because he was hosting a weekly book discussion group at his apartment. And here let me make one thing really clear. I have no personal stake in gay marriage one way or the other. I'm about as heterosexual as a person can be..."

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Comes Out for Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


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