Who would have ever thought terrorists and dictators would control what movies we can or cannot see in the United States of America? Well…we all know this week it happened with the cancellation of the James Franco, Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview”. Yes, Pandora’s box has been opened for North Korea and terrorists everywhere to control the movie industry. They played the 911 card, America’s fear of terrorist threats and we folded.
But at what cost really? Some say “we had to give in to their demands and stop the release of the film because people could get hurt or killed at the theaters”. The latest news reports say there are no credible threats only ones made by the hackers. It is more likely Theater owners are actually more concerned with a lawsuit should some tragedy occur. Others say “it’s all just a publicity stunt to hype up a lousy movie”.
Still many are crying “Freedom of speech!”. Now that Pandora’s has been opened what’s to stop any group from threatening people about what movie, TV show, book, or even music they choose to listen to? Where does it end, where do we draw the line in the sand and say we will not be crossed? Or do we just roll over and bow to the whims of every radical group that decides they don’t like something so nobody else should either?
The ramifications of cancelling “The Interview” set a precedent that has already begun a domino effect. Actor Steve Carell. His new “thriller” called ‘Pyongyang’ being produced by “New Regency” was deemed too risky for its North Korea content to be continued and the project was given the pink slip. In an apparent response to current events Steve Carell posted “Sad day for creative expression” hashtag #feareatsthesoul via his twitter account .
What’s next…Niki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” video, or JLo‘s “Bootyliciou”s being censored by the Taliban in our country? Will we also stop educating our young woman because of terrorists ideology?
One may think this is “far out thinking” and exaggerations but these are things to think about in today’s current climate. One of the rights our forefathers died for was our freedom to express our opinions in words, or through the arts. Do we really want to hand them over to a few radical groups?
Here are some reactions of some celebrities and the President himself!
“My recommendation would be that people go to the movies.” – President Obama to ABC News.
“An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.” – posted Jimmy Kimmel to Judd Apatow on Twitter.
“Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.” Rob Lowe via Twitter
“Is that all it takes – an anonymous threat and the numbers 911 – to throw free expression under the bus?” – Bill Maher on Twitter.
“Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I’d also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers. Also, Sony Hackers – I really liked Tyler Perry in “Gone Girl” so hold off on doing anything yet with Madea.” – posted Michael Moore on Twitter.
“Today the U.S. succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech by a group of North Korean terrorists who threatened to kill moviegoers in order to stop the release of a movie. The wishes of the terrorists were fulfilled in part by easily distracted members of the American press who chose gossip and schadenfreude-fueled reporting over a story with immeasurable consequences for the public–a story that was developing right in front of their eyes. My deepest sympathies go out to Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and everyone who worked on ‘The Interview.'” – Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin in a statement.
Please share your thoughts on this censorship below