Sony Pictures Entertainment has reached an $8 million settlement with current and former employees following last year’s computer hack.
Hackers, who identified as Guardians of Peace, broke into the Sony system last November, and subsequently released thousands of emails and documents. They claimed the attack was an attempt to prevent the release of the comedy “The Interview,” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The movie was a parody of North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong-Un; the US government, therefore, blamed the dictatorship for the attack.
The hack, nevertheless, resulted in unforeseen casualties. Former Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal had to leave her position after the release of several emails, some of which included racially insensitive remarks about President Barack Obama’s taste in movies. Thousands of similarly embarrassing emails were also released in the incident, including creative disagreements, arguably inappropriate conversations about celebrities, financial deals, and so on.
Several suits were filed in the immediate aftermath of the scandal; they were eventually combined into a single class action case.
The settlement was filed late Monday; each person will be paid $10,000 for identity theft losses, capped at $2.5 million, $1,000 each to cover credit-fraud protection costs, capped at $2 million, and up to $3.5 million in legal fees.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton seemed optimistic following the settlement, writing to staff that the studio “has emerged from the cyber-attack a stronger company with a smart and strategic vision for the road ahead.”