“The Interview” is a film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen who co-directed the movie with Evan Goldberg. It is a comedy that follows a journalist (played by Franco) and his producer (played by Rogen) as they try to assassinate Kim Jong-Un (played by Randall Park). The film ends with Kim Jong-Un dying in a helicopter explosion. Kim Jong-un, 31, is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in case you were wondering.
Putting the shoe on the other foot, it is not surprising that North Korea is in an uproar over the movie. What if they produced a movie – a comedy, no less – in which they assassinated President Obama? Americans would be angry and probably feel threatened. While Sony certainly did not intend to threaten anyone or offend anyone, many find the movie to be insensitive especially in light of the current level of terrorist threat around the globe.
An unofficial spokesman for Kim Jong-Un indignantly stated, “There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society. A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed Kennedy – Americans.” Ouch.
Hackers who attacked Sony in a criminal cyber-attack obtained company emails that showed Sony was concerned about the ending of the movie and how it depicted the assassination of a world leader. There were a few nips and tucks made to the ending of the movie based on these discussions. The hackers made a clear threat to America on Tuesday referencing 9/11 and vowed similar destruction to “the very times and places “The Interview” be shown.”
Homeland Security, the FBI, and even President Obama attempted to keep everyone calm stating there was no real threat. Obama said, “For now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies.” Major cinemas apparently did not agree. Five major players stated they would not show the film, including Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment, and Carmike Cinemas.
This led to Sony’s final decision to cancel plans to release the film. According to a studio spokesperson, they have “no further release plans.” Sony made the following statement:
“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
Sony’s share price has declined over 5 percent since the hack was made public. Investors do not seem too concerned.
The US Government has confirmed that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack on Sony. Obama promised, “We’re investigating it. We’re taking it seriously. You know, we’ll be vigilant.”
[The above is my post for Crime Today. My opinion, posted here only, is below.]
It would appear our society, and the world, is moving into a new era of terrorist-thinking in which we use threats of violence to stomp our feet and demand our way. So much for laws; so much for free expression. Protestors use violence and threats of destruction to sway the decisions of others, and countries use the same to limit free expression. A common expression we used to hear often was, “Violence never solves anything.” Today, however, it seems “Threats of violence solve everything.”
This is a tough topic because as mentioned earlier, it is understandable that any country would be offended by another country making a film about a current leader’s assassination. A fictional situation may have been smarter for the movie. However, on the other hand, as Americans we do have the right of free expression and that right is currently being suppressed by threats of violence from other countries who do not follow the same rules.
At some point, we will have to say “No More.” At some point, we will have to stand up to the bullies and prove to them that we are not cowards and that they cannot force their will upon others based on threats of violence. We have had to do this more than once in our history; each time it left rivers of blood on both sides of the fence. That is surely why we are “choosing our battles” wisely. However, every person, every country, every energy on this planet has a breaking point, and America appears to be on that precipice.
Personally, I would be more than willing to walk into a cinema playing “The Interview” proudly wearing a shirt that says, “My choice” on the front, and “No More!” on the back. Even knowing I may not leave that theater and that same shirt may lie in rubble with blood and gore a few hours later. Why? Because I do not want others to dictate my choices based on their desires or opinions, and most importantly, because I know that my death would be retaliated with a fierce vengeance that only Americans know how to throw down.
Yes, violence leads to violence, and so on and so forth, but that is the price we must pay, and have already paid, for our freedoms – and I don’t think those lives should be wasted now. We have fought for our freedoms and we may need to continue to fight for them.
Delaying one movie, ok. No problem. Let’s give them one courtesy, like your cell phone company waives that late fee as a “one time courtesy.” But if the threats continue, and more and more choices and freedoms are being decided based on terrorist threats, then it is time for us to rise up and stand for what we believe in. Stand, and die if need be. I would rather die free then live as a coward.
Sidenote: For those who may have not already figured it out, I am angry not about a movie being canceled, but about the constant threats of violence in order to solve any problem as of late. I have been writing about the police protests, the Ferguson riots, the threats of a community to condemn a police officer who did nothing wrong and only did his job, and I guess this story is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am tired of bullies making threats to get their way. We teach our children to stand up to bullies and defend themselves, but our children learn from what they see. Do as I say, not as I do? It is time to stop the bullies, whether they be Taliban, racists, or hackers from North Korea. This American is SICK of it already.
Kudos to comedian Jimmy Kimmel who tweeted that the cinemas decision to not show the film was, “an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.”