Sony Caves In


Sony Pictures Entertainment has dropped its plans for a Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a crude comedy that prompted a threat of terror against theaters.

The cancellation Wednesday afternoon came as the largest United States and Canadian film exhibitors said they would not show the movie.

In a statement, Sony said: “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”

On Wednesday afternoon, AMC Theaters, citing “the overall confusion and uncertainty” around the film, joined Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment in dropping the film. Together, those exhibitors control more than 19,200 screens across the United States. Smaller American chains and Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment also canceled the film.

The film, a comedy, depicts a couple of journalists recruited to kill Kim Jong Un. North Korea made threats this summer about the film. And a week ago, Sony’s computers were hacked, doing massive damage and releasing all kinds of private information1.

This week, there have been threats of further attacks including 9/11-style attacks, although Homeland Security doesn’t think those threats have any substance behind them. There is also more evidence that North Korea was indeed behind the attacks. Theaters have pulled the movie, terrified of the potential liability. And Sony has now cancelled the premiere.

Several things to pick apart here. Assuming that the attacks and threats did indeed come from North Korea, this is the sign of a regime losing its mind. Of all the things to get worked up over, a stupid Rogen-Franco comedy has to rank pretty low. Had the Norks ignored the movie, no one would have watched it. It would likely have sunk without trace. Now, everyone knows about it.

Second, while the actions of the movie chains and studios is somewhat understandable (one chain is already dealing with lawsuits over the Aurora shooting), it’s still cowardly. Yes, no one wants to get killed over a stupid Seth Rogen movie. But once you start giving terrorists veto power over our culture, you might as well just pass Sharia law and get it over with. In fact, one studio has already cancelled a film over this.

Third, I think the stage for this was set with The Innocence of Muslims debacle. That movie was stupid and offensive and deliberately provocative. But when the Obama Administration blamed it for terror attacks and pleaded with YouTube to yank it; when nitwit Professors wrote op-eds supporting censorship, they sent a message: threats work. Here’s Ken White, responding to efforts to censor the anti-Islam video:

We can’t cave on this in the face of demands that we censor. We can’t. Today it’s bigoted videos. Tomorrow it’s any representation whatsoever of Mohammed. What is it after that? Women depicted out of hijabs? Allowing female anchors to question men on the news? Why, if cultural censors are given the power to demand censorship of that which they find offensive, would they grow a thicker skin rather than a thinner one? Why, if barbarians are told that we will censor our societies and betray our fundamental principals if they kill innocents, would they stop killing innocents? (Yes, I said barbarians. I don’t mean Muslims. I mean people who believe that violence is justified by speech the don’t like. That includes not just extremist Muslims, but their Western apologists.)

To be fair, there are no indications — yet — that the Obama Administration is playing a role here. But they should be playing a role in zealously defending the right to free speech and promising a response to anyone who tries to silence bad speech with threats, destruction and violence.

The more I turn this over, the more I think we are headed for some kind of conflict with North Korea. It may not be a conventional war, but it just might be. Assuming the Nork connection is accurate, this is the sign of a disturbed regime and a disturbed leader. A confrontation with him is coming. Caving in to his petty egotistical needs is only going to make it more likely. This is a sign that we need to beef up our anti-missile defense and increase our surveillance and intelligence assets within and around North Korea. And we need to do it now.

Meanwhile, here’s a clip from some braver film-makers:

1. Most of the stuff released is fairly trivial gossip about movies and movie makers. The most controversial, supposedly, was an e-mail exchange between Sony execs about meeting President Obama, where one suggested to ask him if he liked Django Unchained, Twelve Years a Slave or other movies with predominantly black casts. This was branded as racist. I’m reluctant to call anyone out on private e-mails to begin with. But that aside, I’m still having a hard time working up a mad over it. It seems fairly trivial on the racism scale.

Comments are closed.

  1. Section8

    I don’t think NK nuts at all. They succeeded at making us look like a bunch of weak ass twits.

    As for the “racist” email, not sure what was so racist about it. I could only imagine if they gave a movie list regarding Palin or Cruz or anyone on the right. To me this was probably a light-hearted discussion amongst a couple of libs all wet and sticky over an upcoming fund raiser. Sadly though the reason this is “racist” is because EVERYTHING is racist. Example below…

    Now here’s a good laugh. Michelle O on our horrible racist country and her recent experience with it.

    “I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

    Seriously? This is racist now asking for help? How rude of that person at Target asking for help and not recognizing her for the nobility she is (assuming this even happened). Well genius, here’s something to consider: Tens of millions of white people voted for your husband without a clue as to who he was, without a clue about his experience and without a clue regarding his capabilities. They voted for him anyhow filling in the blanks with sugar plum dreams and rainbow fantasies. They voted for the color of his skin and not the content of his character. Sad we still operate that way indeed. Had they not been so racist he’d be private citizen Obama and we’d all be better off.

    As for someone mistaking you for someone who works at a store (or had maybe just mistaken you for someone who might be a kind and helpful person in general), it’s happened to me a couple of times, and I’m sure just about every other breathing human that’s ever been to a store. Get over it. The white boogeyman is not out to get you.

    Thumb up 4

  2. Hal_10000 *

    I’m sorry, I call bullshit on Michelle Obama’s story. The only person who came up to her asked for help? Like with all the Secret Service and cameras around? Bull.

    Thumb up 6

  3. Section8

    Yeah it is odd. I was reading around, there is a clip of her on David Letterman after that shopping trip talking about it and how she felt good about helping the lady. So either she’s a complete liar with two stories or People has taken her quote in the interview out of context and put it in as part of her grievances with this country. This almost seems too strange. I’m starting to wonder if People did a cut and paste job. I mean I don’t even think the Obama administration could do a blunder this big. If it were Biden, yeah but Obama isn’t that stupid. Because if this is the case, they’ve just opened themselves up to some big ridicule.

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  4. Poosh

    North Korea needs to be taught a lesson! You Americans need to retaliate by reducing their shithole of a country to nothing but empty fields and worn out buildings, with no food or culture, you need to turn the people of North Korea’s lives into empty, hopeless hollow echoes of humanity … oh wait a minute…

    Thumb up 1

  5. Xetrov

    Regarding Michelle’s trip to Target –

    President Barack Obama isn’t the only powerful man in Washington who was once confused for a waiter when wearing his evening best. So was a top general in the U.S. Army — by Valerie Jarrett!

    As The Daily Caller first reported back in 2011, Obama’s top adviser mistook a four-star general for a waiter during a fancy dinner hosted by the Alfalfa Club. According to a Daily Caller source, as the general walked by Jarrett’s table, she signaled to him that she wanted more libation.

    “I’d like another glass of wine,” she reportedly said.

    Like a gentleman, the career military man didn’t make a fuss of the matter, according to the source.

    “The guy dutifully went up and got her a glass of wine, and then came back and gave it to her and took a seat at the table,” the source said. “Everyone is in tuxedos and gowns at this thing, but the military people are in full dress uniform.”

    According to a corroborating report by CNN, the military man in question was then-Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Peter Chiarelli.

    Discussing times they’ve been subjected to racist insults during a recent interview with People magazine, the Obamas mentioned how President Obama was also once mistaken for a waiter during a fancy dinner party in the days before he became the most powerful man in the world.

    “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee,” Mrs. Obama explained.

    No word whether the Obamas think Jarrett’s slight against the general was spurred by racial animus — or just an honest mistake.

    Thumb up 2

  6. Hal_10000 *

    I liked the idea Romney tweeted out: make the movie available for free; ask for $5 donations that will go to fighting Ebola.

    Speaking of Romney … has anyone noticed that Obama has basically adopted every policy idea of Romney from 2012? And that just about everything he said would happen has happened? Are we sure we didn’t actually elect Romney in 2012 and Obama’s just there as a figurehead?

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  7. InsipiD

    Now that The Interview and Team America have both been pulled from their Christmas showings, I feel like this is some kind of alternate universe. It seems that North Korea’s oppression is now reaching outside of its own borders, and that shouldn’t be the case.

    Thumb up 2

  8. Hal_10000 *

    Netflix, at least, is carrying Team America. I watched it last night. And now I feel so ronery. So ronery. So ronery and sadry arone.

    Thumb up 1

  9. Hal_10000 *

    Who hacked our president and made him start acting like a leader?

    Can whoever did it hack Republicans and make them start acting like conservatives?

    Thumb up 2