Sony’s Defense: “Who, Me?”

I have been watching Sony trying to wiggle out of the criticism that it has faced over withdrawing the film “The Interview” undre pressure from “hackers”.

The argument is that Sony — surprise, surprise — is a corporation. As if we did not know! As a corporation, Sony has primary responsibility to its shareholders! Therefore it cannot indulge itself in the emotions of the masses. It must protect itself! You can find this idea in the All In interview of a former Sony executive, 

It is not a new idea. Slave traders made a similar argument – that they were answerable only to their investors. Polluting companies as well, have argued that they must fight regulation in order to protect their investors.

But the fact is that “protecting investors” is a slippery concept. Companies protect investors by building loyalty to the brand as well as just existing in the market. In this case, I don’t think anyone would say that Sony has built loyalty to its brand in the way it has acted. Is it protecting investors by taking legalistic positions in the face of a serious assault on public values? Well, let’s see.

But I can see a plot for a new satirical movie — about the executives of Sony that approved this film for production and then ….  well, we know how this played out.


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