Despite making overtures that it has not "caved," or "backed down," in the face of hacker threats, Sony Pictures appears to have been quietly pulling each and every online promotion for its movie, The Interview. As of Friday evening, the film's website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube channel (plus trailers from Sony Pictures' channel) have all disappeared without so much as a note that suggests they'd be back.
Hackers reportedly demanded Sony scrub all traces of it from the internet
It's unclear if this is a direct result of an earlier threat from the hacker group that demanded the studio remove any and all signs that The Interview ever existed. A purported email sent to top Sony executives threatened to release more information if the studio did not scrub "everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version" from the internet.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the removals were intentional.
The quiet disappearances come just hours after a condemnation from President Obama on North Korea's alleged involvement and Sony's decision to cancel the release of the film. In a press conference discussing the cyberattack, Obama said he believes the studio made the wrong move to bow to pressure. "Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There are threats against its employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced," Obama said. "Having said all that: yes, I think they made a mistake."
Following the press conference, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton minced few words, telling CNN that the company had in fact spoken to a senior advisor in the White House, something Obama had accused the company of not doing before deciding not to release the film. Lynton also said "We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered and we have not backed down," adding that "We have always had every desire to have the American public to see this movie."
Bryan Bishop contributed to this report.