After increased pressure from both North Korea and the United States government, Sony has officially decided to pull all showings of the upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco movie The Interview from theaters until further notice.
The studio had been staring down the barrel assorted threats ever since they first announced their plans to produce the flick, and most recently were the victims of a company wide attack that brought their entire internal network crumbling to its knees.
During the online assault the personal data of all its employees, several high profile celebrities, and digital masters for many of its biggest releases were stolen, along with a library of bank account transactions, financial spreadsheets, and scripts for projects still waiting in the pipeline.
“”We know that criminals and foreign countries regularly seek to gain access to government and private sector networks – both in the United States and elsewhere,” a National Security Council statement said, adding that the FBI was leading the investigation.
“We take very seriously any attempt to threaten or limit artists’ freedom of speech or of expression.””
While there has still been no hard confirmation from Sony or otherwise on exactly who was behind the GOP attacks, the pulling of The Interview tells us more than any canned press release ever would.
Where the real mystery lies now is who made the final decision to push the eject button, and whether Sony themselves were falling to political pressure, or high-ranking members of the Obama administration made the call not to poke the same bear that also happens to be armed with a nuclear device it barely has the instructions to, let alone intricate knowledge of how to deploy it safely or away from large crowds.
Sony employees have been receiving a slew of death threats since the GOP debacle started, and it’s been reported that several of the theaters who were planning on premiering the film had been threatened by terrorists for if they allowed the movie to go on without being censored first.
In the end, many of the critics who saw screeners beforehand agree that it’s not as though we’re losing this generation’s next Citizen Kane. The movie had already been getting tepid results across the board, and it’s unlikely that the depiction of Kim Jong Un’s attempted assassination was more than a few fart jokes from being another “wait until it’s on Netflix” snoozer.
That said, what most of the people close to the story can agree on is that it’s not about how good or bad the movie might have been; it’s about what not showing it represents. By threatening a “second 9/11”, the terrorists behind the Sony strike have found out where to hit us the hardest, and have scared one of the greatest countries in the world into hiding all over a little Hollywood fun.
Our forefathers didn’t die for our right to free speech just so a couple of North Korean script kiddies could steal it away with the take down of a server or two.
By relenting to the demands of the GOP, Sony and the United States have shown that we’re willing to appease anyone who comes at us with just the mere threat of possible violence, and given the rest of the terrorist community all the fuel they need to see that if you want to make us cower in our seats and do what you say, just throw around a “9/11” at the right moment and we’ll be the first to bow to your demands, however silly they may be.