By Sean Tuohy
Apparently, Sony had a gun cocked and pointed at its head. The gunman was a cold-hearted mastermind…actually, it was (allegedly) a country that can't even feed its own people.
On Dec. 17, Sony decided to pull the upcoming comedy film "The Interview,” which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, because of safety concerns. The film tells the story of two American television hosts headed to North Korea for an interview who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate the hermit country’s leader Kim Jong-un. Hackers, who U.S. officials have identified as originating from North Korea, leaked footage of the film and threatened anyone who saw it. As of now, Sony will not show the film at all: no theaters, no VOD, no DVD.
It’s understandable that the studio is concerned about filmgoers’ safety. Potential harm to movie fans was too great a risk to take on what appears to be a slapstick/stoner comedy. However, this threat appears to come from North Korea, a nation that we really know nothing about. What we do know is that the country's citizens live under the iron grip of an overweight guy who may or may not have fed his uncle to angry dogs.
Sony should have called the bluff.
I’m not dismissing the fact that North Korea could have a lot more power than we think. I understand it’s a nation with resources and means and likes to test nuclear weapons for fun, however, it is also a country that didn’t let its male citizens enjoy The Fappening.
The ripple effect of giving in to terrorists, who may or may not be sitting in their mother’s basement right now blogging about potential Oscar snubs, is going to be felt for years to come. Studio heads are going to be extra careful when greenlighting a project, which means worthy scripts will be passed up for being “too risky” or having the potential to “upset someone.” It’s already hard enough to get a film made in today and age, but now it is going to be even more difficult. When a group of people doesn't want something shown, they are going to hold Hollywood hostage.
"The Interview" is a Hollywood comedy, and it should be treated that way.