Moviegoers reacted to a possible threat against theatres on Tuesday, after threats surfaced on the Internet saying theatres showing the upcoming North Korean satire The Interview could be attacked.
“I would not go at all because you never know, they might be playing a prank or it might be real, so why would I be there?” said Genesis Torres after exiting a movie theatre in Los Angeles.
Her thoughts were shared by several other moviegoers, such as Franco Rivera, who said, “No, no I wouldn’t even come to a theatre.”
Earlier in the day, U.S. officials downplayed the possible threat against movie theatres.
In L.A., the city’s police chief said that although his department was taking precautions, there was no credible evidence of a plot.
“People should not be afraid to go to the movies in Los Angeles. We have no credible threat. We are well aware of the emails that have gone back and forth and we will take precautions that make sure that our movie theatres are as safe as we can make them. We believe, and I personally believe, that most of this is done to put terror through messaging into the people of America and if we react to that, then to use a phrase that gets overused, the terrorists win,” Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.
His thoughts were echoed by the head of counter-terrorism for New York’s police department, John Miller, who said, “One of the things you look to is what is the specificity and credibility of the threat, part of that is understanding what is the source of the threat. So we’re evaluating all of that, we’ve been in touch with the FBI, we’ve spoken to Sony and their security people about it.”
A hacking group published what appear to be more internal emails on Tuesday and promised a “bitter fate” for those who went to see the movie, The Interview following a cyber attack that severely damaged movie studio’s network.
Sony is already reeling from the disclosures in documents released by the hackers, which have publicly exposed internal discussions important to the company’s future.
Reuters has not been able to verify the authenticity of the more than 100 gigabytes of documents that have been distributed via the Internet. The company has confirmed that at least some are authentic, apologizing for the loss of sensitive employee data and some comments made by executives.
The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is scheduled to debut in U.S. and Canadian theatres on Dec. 25. The stars have since cancelled all upcoming media appearances, according to Variety.