Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal

Sweden's hottest Hollywood star Joel Kinnaman is the latest name to emerge from a Wikileaks' publication of over 170,000 internal Sony Pictures emails stolen in a massive hacker attack last year, alongside one of the Pirate Bay founders and information about the fourth book in the famous Swedish Millennium series.

Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal
Joel Kinnaman, left, and his co-star Abblie Cornish in Robocop. Photo: AP Photo/Sony/Columbia Pictures/Kerry Hayes

Kinnaman rose to global fame playing the lead role in blockbuster Robocop last year. But an email posted in a searchable database by Wikileaks on Thursday shows that a massive row very nearly caused the Swedish actor to pull out of promoting the movie.

In an email chain going back and forth between Kinnaman and Sony employees, the actor accuses the entertainment giant of “amateur mistakes” after it published promotion pictures that showed a stunt double instead of the actor himself. When a Sony employee writes that Kinnaman had approved the images, the Swede replies: “That is simply not true. (…) The lack of responsibility taken in this email is infuriating. Yes, I approve images of ME, but I do not go through and approve images of my stunt double Dorian.”

He goes on to say that “it's so disheartening to have images go out that we didn't create as part of our story. So until this is rectified fully I'm not comfortable doing any more promotion”.

Whistleblower site Wikileaks published over 170,000 emails and 30,000 other documents in a searchable database on Thursday, following a hacker attack on Sony Pictures in November 2014. The cyber attack ended up costing the company upwards of $100 million and has been linked to a North Korean group calling itself Guardians of Peace.

Other email chains published on Thursday show the plot of the fourth book of Sweden's famous Millennium series being discussed in detail as well as one of Sony's top lawyers cheering after Fredrik Neij – one of the Swedish founders of controversial file-sharing site Pirate Bay – was captured on the Thailand-Laos border in November 2014 after four years on the run.

“They've arrested for extradition the third Pirate Bay founder. Huge win! Don't know if hackers will retaliate,” the lawyer writes.

Sony has hit out at Wikileaks over the publication of the emails.

“The cyber attack on Sony Pictures was a malicious criminal act, and we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information on Wikileaks,” a Sony spokesperson said in a statement to American entertainment magazine Variety.

However, Wikileaks editor in chief Julian Assange – who is currently hiding in the Ecuador embassy in London for fear of being extradited to Sweden over rape allegations – said in a statement: “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation. It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geopolitical conflict. It belongs in the public domain. Wikileaks will ensure it stays there.”

The Local has approached Joel Kinnaman and his Swedish agent for comment.

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