Yet another Sony leak, and another story about someone unhappy about the production of a movie. And this time it is the billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who had some words against the Oscar-winning movie documenting his life. Apparently, Zuckerberg actually tried to stop The Social Network from being made years ago because he found it to be hurtful and untrue.
While we can’t be sure of the authenticity of leaked Sony emails, this specific exchange doesn’t come completely out of left field. In a recent public Q&A session at Facebook’s California headquarters, Zuckerberg discussed the 2010 film, and its embellishment of certain elements. He was also upset because he found the film quite hurtful. He told the audience:
"I think the reality is that writing code and then building a product and building a company is not a glamorous enough thing to make a movie about, so you can imagine that a lot of this stuff they had to embellish or make up... They went out of their way in the movie to try to get some interesting details correct like the design of the office, but on the overarching plot… they just kind of made up a bunch of stuff that I found kind of hurtful."
One of the few things the movie did get right, was his wardrobe. Zuckerberg is known for rocking a grey t-shirt every single day, and the very basic clothing in the film. But the framing of the story uses Zuckerberg’s break-up with a girl to fuel his creation of Facebook. In a presentation for students at Stanford University, Zuckerberg took a stab at the creators of The Social Network saying they were unable to "wrap their heads around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things."
Back when the movie first released, and Zuckerberg began telling his own side of the story in presentations and to the press, many people, including those in the Silicon Valley community, stabbed right back, stating that the film character was pretty accurate.
Whether or not the portrayal was true, Zuckerberg clearly didn’t want it on screen and for good reason. Either it is true, and people within his own industry will take his work less seriously, and only guided by "getting girls" or it completely falsified and also impacting at his reputation negatively. Business Insider reports that the Sony email admits to Zuckerberg’s reluctance and even that he tried to stop it like anyone would who doesn’t want their foolish times in college examined and repurposed.
Negativity has been the main theme in covering the Sony hacking scandal, but this story is grounded in fact. Mark Zuckerberg was unhappy with the resulting product of The Social Network and the portrayal of himself in the film, whether or not it was warranted.