Nine months after a damaging hacking attack, the repercussions continue for Sony. In the latest dustup, the company finds itself on the defensive over a movie about concussions in the NFL.
The New York Times reports that Sony toned down a number of elements in the movie, apparently to appease the NFL. The movie, “Concussion,” stars Will Smith and is due for release in December.
The hassle over “Concussion” comes after Sony got in trouble with North Korea over its movie “The Interview,” with many observers concluding that North Korea was behind the hacking incident.
“In the end even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the NFL, found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game,” The Times reports.
“In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the NFL by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league,” the report adds.
Sony was critical of the report. The Los Angeles Times reports that Sony released a statement today saying the New York Times story included “many misleading inferences” and adding that “nothing with regard to this important story has been ‘softened’ to placate anyone.”
The L.A. Times story adds: “The studio even put out a statement attributed to sportscaster Bob Costas: ‘I have seen the movie. As one who has followed, and commented on, this issue, it doesn’t appear to me many punches were pulled.'”
Here’s a trailer for “Concussion”: