By: Steven Goodman – Asst. Opinions editor
Christmas Day, at least for my family, is a time, once all the presents have been opened, to go and see whatever movie is at the top of our list. Normally, the biggest dilemma is deciding which movie to see. This past Christmas, movies became a much bigger issue when Sony Pictures decided to cancel the release of “The Interview” on Dec. 25.
“The Interview” was the most recent Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy that earned a particularly bad reputation in North Korea long before its release. Why? Because the plot of this movie involved a plan by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
Naturally, Kim Jong-un was somewhat perturbed by this, going so far as to call the movie an “act of war.” That comment was just the stepping stone to a massive battle over the release of “The Interview” and an equally large cyber attack against Sony, which was linked to North Korea.
Ultimately, Sony pulled “The Interview” from its Christmas debut, originally canceling the premiere altogether. While they shouldn’t have canceled the film, did they actually have a choice? After all, nearly every major theater chain in the U.S. stated that they would not screen “The Interview.” When you have no place to show your movie, there’s no reason to release it at all.
Still, both Sony and the various theaters who canceled their premieres should have listened to the government officials who spoke out against the threats. The individuals that spoke made clear there was absolutely no evidence of a plan for a physical attack on a movie theater or Sony’s studios.
If there had been any indication that an attack was going to occur, I would be behind Sony 100 percent on pulling the film, but there wasn’t. Instead, empty threats were made in relation to “The Interview” from a country that throws around the phrase “act of war” far too casually to begin with.
There’s a reason it’s called terrorism: those that use it are trying to incite terror within a large group of people. When these mostly empty threats from terrorists are given into is when they begin to win. The goal of these terrorist groups is to keep us in fear of leaving our homes, and it’s a ploy Sony and movie theaters around the country accepted far too quickly.
The path that Sony and the theaters should have taken is one that involves some detective work. Look into the threats that are being made toward films like “The Interview” and work with organizations such as the FBI, CIA or Department of Homeland Security to see if there is any credibility to these threats.
After learning the facts is when a final decision should be made. There’s no point in acting immediately if there is no legitimate threat, like in the case of this movie. I’m glad that at least Sony decided to release “The Interview” online and as a limited run on the big screen, even if it was only as an afterthought.