Hollywood stars including Rob Lowe, Ben Stiller and Mia Farrow have criticised Sony's decision to cancel the release of its controversial new film, The Interview, following threats by an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace.
On Wednesday, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that the movie would not be shown as planned on Christmas Day amid threats of violence from the hackers.
The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen
A spokesman said the company was "deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie", adding: "We stand by our film makers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."
Many have been quick to criticise the decision to pull the film, which is about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Rob Lowe posted a tweet that has since been shared thousands of times. "Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow," he wrote, before adding, "Saw @Sethrogen at JFK. Both of us have never seen or heard of anything like this. Hollywood has done Neville Chamberlain proud today."
Mia Farrow tweeted just four words – "Damn, Bad guys won" – while producer Judd Apatow wrote, "I think it is disgraceful that these theatres are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?
"What is an anonymous person gets offended by something an executive at Coke said. Will we all have to stop drinking Coke?"
He later added, "This only guarantees that this movie will be seen by more people on Earth than it would have before. Legally or illegally all will see it."
Chat show host Jimmy Kimmel was among those who responded to him. "@JuddApatow I agree wholeheartedly. An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."
Actor Ben Stiller, meanwhile, referred to the cancellation as "a threat to freedom of expression".
Film-maker Michael Moore took a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the announcement. "Dear Sony Hackers," he wrote. "Now that u run Hollywood, I'd also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers."