LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Several celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment regarding Sony's decision to cancel the planned Dec. 25 release of its comedy The Interview.
The film's stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, who are frequent Twitter users, have not yet publicly commented on Wednesday's move, which was in reponse to threats of violence from a computer hacker group.
Theater chains first announced they would not carry the movie -- in which Rogen and Franco play broadcast journalists enlisted by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- out of fear for their patrons' safety.
Sony's computer system has already been hacked by the anonymous group known only as the Guardians of Peace, which cited its outrage over the movie as its motivation. Tens of thousands of private documents -- including copies of unreleased films, screenplays, financial information and personal emails -- were released online.
Critics of the decision to cancel the movie argue it is a blow to American artists' right to freedom of speech.
Really hard to believe this is the response to a threat to freedom of expression here in America. #TheInterview— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) December 18, 2014
Sad day for creative expression. #feareatsthesoul— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 17, 2014
While I understand the necessity to pull The Interview, it makes me furious. Free speech is the most admirable tenet in our constitution.— dax shepard (@daxshepard1) December 18, 2014
Saw @Sethrogen at JFK. Both of us have never seen or heard of anything like this. Hollywood has done Neville Chamberlain proud today.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 17, 2014
. @JuddApatow I agree wholeheartedly. An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 17, 2014
.@RobLowe it wasn't the hackers who won, it was the terrorists and almost certainly the North Korean dictatorship, this was an act of war— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) December 17, 2014