NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just days after a massive hacking attack on employees at Sony’s Hollywood studio, distributor of the new James Franco comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the actor wasted no time as host of “Saturday Night Live” and mined the situation for all it was worth.
Franco stars with Seth Rogen in the new film “The Interview” which centers on a plot to kill Kim, used as comic fodder.
The cyber attack shut down most of the studio’s network for more than a week and hackers released sensitive data over the Internet, including employee salaries, Social Security numbers and high-quality digital versions of several unreleased films.
Speculation has swirled that North Korea was involved as reprisal for the upcoming film due to be released on Dec. 25. Pyongyang on Sunday denied culpability but said it may have been the work of pro-North Korean supporters.
“Something pretty crazy happened this week,” Franco said on the live NBC comedy show, detailing the hacking. “And I know eventually they’re gonna’ start leaking out stuff about me.”
The actor then listed some upcoming revelations, including that “my email is CuterThanDaveFranco@aol.com. My password is LittleJamesyCutiepie.”
Rogen then appeared at Franco’s side and warned: “It’s much much worse ... An hour ago they released some of our private photos from our phones.” Franco asked if these included pictures the pair had just taken in his dressing room.
A series of pictures of the two in various compromising positions followed, ranging from them curled up together in bed to a mock Christmas card featuring the pair naked but for oversized Christmas stockings covering their nether regions, posing with Santa Claus.
Franco ended the bit saying “Oh also, all the girls who got any Instagram messages from me this year, last year, the hackers did it. It was the hackers,” whereupon the show cut to a commercial for “The Interview,” opening on Dec. 25.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Chris Reese