Should the movie premiere of “The Interview” have been cancelled amidst death threats?
By now most of you know that the release of “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco has been cancelled. For those not privy to the latest Hollywood scandal now turned FBI investigation I will sum up what’s been going on during the past few weeks. Sony Pictures, a multi-billion dollar corporation, was hacked by most likely North Korea. Sony planned to release a comedy starring Franco and Rogen as secret agents tasked to go to North Korea and murder the communist leader, Kim Jung Un (during their scheduled interview with him).
North Korea, understandably, was not pleased with the depiction of an assassination attempt to their leader (I wouldn’t like it if they made a movie joking about the murder of President Obama). North Korean hackers gained access to Sony and leaked hundreds of emails and other documents to the public in response to Sony declining their demand to stop the release of the movie. What first started as a revealing look at Hollywood executives salacious emails and prejudice grew to something of real concern. The hackers warned America that if they proceeded to show the movie then events similar to 9/11 would befall them.
Sony then gave movie theaters the option not to release the film. Five major theater chains took them up on their offer and soon thereafter Sony decided to cancel the release of the movie. There’s a debate as to whether that was the right decision.
Personally I am a bit conflicted. On the one hand I am pissed that we would cower to the demands of terrorists. Conversely I understand that precautions should be taken. The potential of even one life to be harmed over the release of a movie is not worth it. My problem lies with the precedent that this will make in that the hackers have won. They accomplished what they wanted. What would stop Kim Jung Un from raging cyber warfare on something else he does not like? Will or should we cower then as well?
I think the release should have been delayed and I think they should have waited to release the movie when no risk was posed. If this was not a possibility then I would agree to have the movie released via online streaming services or even VOD (Video on Demand).
I wasn’t interested in watching the movie when I first saw the trailer. I still have no plans to watch it when it becomes available. However, I should have the right to be able to watch it if, and when I ever please. As for if I would go to the theater to watch it I say this: Yeah, if I really wanted to watch it I would. I went to watch The Dark Night Rises the same day as the theater shootings in Colorado. The reason being is that I will not live my life in fear and I will more importantly not allow a bunch of terrorists to dictate my life.
I’m interested to read what you all think.
Do you think Sony and the theater chains made the right choice?
Would you have gone to watch this movie if it had been released in theaters despite the violent threats?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate