Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara said he regretted not doing more to support to Sony in the wake of a devastating hack attack that nearly crippled the studio, the executive said at the Code Media conference in Dana Point, California, on Wednesday.
“We could have and should have done more for Michael [Lynton] and for Sony,” Tsujihara said, though he didn’t allude to any specifics.
While some industry observers felt Warner Bros. and other studios could’ve leaned on the National Association of Theater Owners to help Sony avoid pulling “The Interview” from theaters, there was a real fear throughout Hollywood as other studios aimed to avoid being hacked themselves.
None of the studios, nor the MPAA, wanted to put themselves out there by offering public support and presenting a unified front in the press, lest they become a target. Some studio insiders felt the Sony situation wasn’t really their business, and that they didn’t owe Sony anything more than moral support.
“It all happened so fast,” Tsujihara explained. “How do I say this in a way that’s supportive without seeming self-serving?’ When you get lawyers and people in the room, things don’t happen.
“In certain respects you want to see all of us in the industry healthy. When you see one of the competitors down, you want to help them up,” said Tsujihara, who recently attended an intimate dinner with his rival studio heads and the MPAA’s Christopher Dodd where he pledged WB’s continued support of the MPAA despite its silence during the Sony hack.
Tsujihara acknowledged that “everybody is vulnerable” if a hacker is determined to infiltrate a studio’s network, saying he didn’t think the Sony incident was caused by “lax security”; however, the hack did lead to Tsujihara initiating a review of WB’s own security measures. “We’re doing a number of different things to try and protect what happens if someone gets hit,” he said, adding that “we’ve all been attacked at some level.”
Asked whether Warner Bros. would’ve made “The Interview,” Tsujihara said the studio is constantly thinking how a movie “will be perceived in the international marketplace.”