Hollywood actors and film-makers have criticised the decision by Sony and cinemas not to show The Interview in the light of hacker threats of violence against movie goers.
The controversial movie includes an assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and investigators have linked Pyongyang to a cyber attack where sensitive Sony emails were leaked.
Actors Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Rob Lowe, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and filmmaker Judd Apatow, all friends of The Interview stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, have hit out at the decision to pull the release.
Lowe, who has a cameo role in the film, accused Hollywood of “caving in” and compared the industry to ex-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
He tweeted: “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.
“Saw @Sethrogen at JFK. Both of us have never seen or heard of anything like this. Hollywood has done Neville Chamberlain proud today.”
High-profile producer Judd Apatow, a friend and collaborator of Rogen, said: “I think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?”
Stiller, who directed and starred in 2001’s Zoolander, about a male fashion model brainwashed to assassinate a fictional Malaysian prime minister, tweeted of The Interview cancellation.
He wrote: “Really hard to believe this is the response to a threat to freedom of expression here in America.”
Carell, who has starred alongside Rogen in a number of comedies, said on Twitter: “Sad day for creative expression,” with the hashtag #feareatsthesoul.
Both Carell and Stiller also tweeted pictures of Charlie Chaplin playing his Adolf Hitler parody in 1940 film The Great Dictator.
Kimmel, also writing on Twitter, called the decision “an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent”.
On Wednesday, Sony cancelled the December 25 release, citing the threats of violence at cinemas showing the movie.
Sony said it had no plans to release The Interview on DVD, video-on-demand or online streaming platforms, despite support of the idea from fans on social media.