The Interview
Seth Rogen and James Franco on The Interview's poster.Colombia Pictures

Chinese state media have attacked The Interpreter, the film at the centre of an international diplomatic storm after North Korea-linked hackers attacked producers Sony, accusing the studio of "senseless cultural arrogance".

US president Barack Obama today said the attack on Sony, which saw confidential emails, star pay details and unreleased films leaked, was an act of "cybervandalism", and that North Korea may be put back on a list of states that sponsor terrorism. The US has also reportedly asked for China's help in preventing further hacking by North Korea.

But Chinese media condemned the film, which depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, a key regional ally of China.

"The Interview, which makes fun of the leader of an enemy of the US, is nothing to be proud of for Hollywood and US society," China's Global Times newspaper, which has links to the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial, reports the South China Morning Post.

"Americans always believe they can jab at other countries' leaders just because they are free to criticise or make fun of their own state leaders," it added.

"No matter how the US society looks at North Korea and Kim Jong-un, Kim is still the leader of the country. The vicious mocking of Kim is only a result of senseless cultural arrogance."

The editorial in the paper, which is owned by Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, called on the US to "show some manners and stop being so aggressive".

China is one of North Korea's main allies and largest trading partners.

However, in recent years relations between the countries have become strained, with China accusing North Korea of causing regional instability with its nuclear weapons programme.

In recent years, China has become a key export market for Hollywood, but concern has been expressed that filmmakers will be dissuaded from tackling issues that could offend Chinese censors.

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained was refused release on the Chinese market for being too violent, and key scenes were reportedly cut from James Bond film Skyfall for its release in China.

"Now that the Chinese market has become a gold mine for US movies, Hollywood has begun to show an increasingly friendly face, just in order to attract more Chinese viewers," added the Global Times editorial.