CNN reports that top Sony executives received another email from the unidentified "Guardians of Peace" hackers last night, thanking the studio for canning The Interview, but demanding that they further humiliate and supplicate themselves on the global stage. Sony will now pretend this never happened.
TV reporting warlock Brian Stelter was tipped off by someone inside Sony, who relayed the contents of the purported hacker memo, which is in strangely good English. They applaud Sony's buckling as "very wise":
The hacker message is effectively a victory lap, telling the studio, "Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy."
The message also says, "And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately."
It warns the studio executives that "we still have your private and sensitive data" and claims that they will "ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble."
That's pretty sophisticated language for the Guardians of Peace—an email I received from them earlier this week included the phrase "Im a m of Gard.Of.P."
But Sony is taking the message seriously, and has already deleted the official website for The Interview. Most of its promotional materials on YouTube are now "private," too. The film's official Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and trailers on Apple.com remain up, but who knows for how long—and why wouldn't Sony truly purge everything, now that they've shown themselves willing to take orders from the email ether? What if the hackers—or someone claiming to be the hackers—ask for $50 million? What if they ask for another movie to be pulled? What if they ask for Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton to pose in a tutu with a shoe on his head? Why wouldn't they keep making demands, when it's working?