Sony silences “The Interview”

This past Wednesday, Sony Pictures announced the cancellation of The Interview, a movie set to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, in response to the alleged terrorist threats made against movie theaters by Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea. They vowed to distribute it “somehow,” but did not announce any plans.
The comedy stars American actors Seth Rogan and James Franco as two entertainment who snag an exclusive interview with the North Korean dictator. They are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him. Sony had announced that they have “no further release plans” for this film, according to the New York Times.
Prior to this announcement, the movie premiere had already been cancelled in New York City due to reported threats made by hackers, who pilfered sensitive and confidential data from Sony and published it on the Internet. Other leading theater chains began cancelling their screenings as well.
Threats consisted of a terrorist attack upon any theater that showed the film. Kim Jong-un himself gave an ultimatum back in June, stating that if the United States does not ban the film, North Korea will be “resolute and merciless” in response.
Sony Pictures has also suffered from a recent security breach, this past week. This cyber-attack has been declared to be one of the most damaging on an American corporation. Followed by this, Sony has been pushed in to a more difficult position. Not only taking an economic hit, but this business faces a loss in a large source of income, nearly millions as “The Interview” strikes out.
With Sony’s unexpected decision to no longer press forward with the film, criticism from celebrities on social media platform Twitter, arise also. Actress Mia Farrow goes on to describe Sony as “a disgrace.” Actor Rob Lowe, who makes an appearance in the film, tweeted, “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.”
Apparently, the North Korean dictator’s wish was America’s command as screening of the film has been canceled. Those familiar with the Constitution of the United States and freedom as citizens understand that one of our major moral tenets as a leading country—a super power – pertain to freedom of speech and expression. We as a country should not find ourselves in the position of having to negotiate with terrorists.
The move to cancel the premiere of this movie is one that many Americans were shocked to see. Sony’s decision silences what staunch believers of the first amendment fight for everyday. To depict the assassination of a leader (an unstable one at that) is an absurd premise, however the right to produce, screen and watch this comedy is completely our right, especially within our own borders.
That being said, Kim Jong-Un would have been better off to ignore this film’s distribution and its content. The Interview is certainly not the first movie to place North Korea in the comedic limelight. It’s not the first parody made involving North Korea.
In 2004, Team America: World Police had made its debut on the big screen. This movie mocked Kim Jong-Un’s father and former dictator, Kim Jong-Il, for our entertainment. Kim Jong-Il and North Korea had no public reaction, seeing as it was just a movie. Now, in 2014, it had been reported that Paramount has placed a ban on the film, ordering it not to be shown in certain theater chains after seeing the recent events involving Sony and terrorists.
The United States as a nation must reflect and understand that once we slowly start to give in to the demands and threats of foreign nations we must also brace ourselves for the reality that we might never recover the rights we sacrificed.
Safety in such circumstances as this one has been raised as a concern. But what about our freedoms? No matter the situation, are we supposed to just abandon our rights and all that we stand for when someone’s feelings are hurt? Our rights as American people are supposed to be protected and celebrated, so why give them away when the going gets rough?
President Barack Obama has publicly spoken on the matter, saying how Sony Pictures “made a mistake” by crossing out the comedic film. Mollifying Kim Jong-Un wasn’t an option in his eyes, despite what the movie giant had already done. “That’s not who we are,” the president said. “That’s not what America’s about.”

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