Golden Globes: Spoofing North Korea and finding humor in Sony cyber attack


What a difference a few weeks makes. One month ago, the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures over the comedy “The Interview” was making headlines around the world and rattling nerves across the movie industry. At the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday, though, Hollywood seemed ready to laugh it off.

Cohosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler referred to the debacle right off the bat. “Tonight we celebrate all the great television shows we know and love, as well as all the movies that North Korea was OK with,” Fey joked.

One might have expected Fey and Poehler to express support for the nearly shelved Seth Rogen-James Franco film, as so many in comedy had in the wake of an attack linked to North Korea, but they were only too happy to make it the butt of jokes. “North Korea referred to ‘The Interview’ as ‘absolutely intolerable’ and ‘a wanton act of terror,’” Fey said. “Even more amazing, not the worst review the movie got.”


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The North Korean regime was directly spoofed as well. Fey and Poehler introduced a new “member” of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a stern-faced journalist and “North Korean army general” (played by comedian Margaret Cho) who worked for a magazine called Movies Wow!

Reaction to those jokes was mixed on Twitter. “The running North Korea gag needs to be quietly retired before it ruins the evening,” former CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted. But in the Beverly Hilton, the reception seemed warmer, perhaps because the crowd was eager for a chance to blow off some steam about an episode that had rocked the industry.

Accepting a lifetime achievement award, George Clooney wryly addressed the fallout from the hacking attack, which had ruptured relationships across Hollywood: “It’s always fun to come here and catch up with old friends, and now that we’ve seen that everyone’s been hacked, it’s also a good chance for us to meet face-to-face and apologize for all the snarky things we’ve said about each other,” he said.

Twitter: @joshrottenberg; @saba_h