A Sad Sign of the Times

What is the world coming to?  This is not the first time I’ve asked this question.  In this particular instance, though, I’m talking about the cancellation of the upcoming movie The Interview.  Here’s a little background, in case you’re not up on this:

The Interview is a movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about two journalists who are allowed to enter North Korea.  Because of this, they are given the task of assassinating Kim Jong Un by the CIA.  Obviously, hilarity was about to ensue.

The movie was scheduled for a Christmas Day release.

However, on November 24th, Sony Pictures Studios’ computer system was hacked.  I know this because that was the day AM and I toured Sony Pictures Studios.  Cool, right?  We were there on Hack Day!  Anyway, though, the government has somehow determined that it was the North Koreans who hacked Sony in the hopes of delaying the release of this movie.  Seriously.

Now, Sony has pulled the picture.  Completely nixed it.  Supposedly, no one is ever going to see it.

I am disappointed for three reasons:

  1. Come on, North Korea!  It was going to be a funny movie!  Lighten up, Francis.
  2. What does this mean for our freedom of speech?  As a creative writer, this troubles me.  I’ve never once given any thought to censorship, but it’s apparently alive and well in our country.  If two comedic stars like Seth Rogen and James Franco can’t guarantee that the movie is going to be taken as one big joke, then what about lesser-knowns?  What about someone like me?  What about the writers everywhere?  What about the musicians and the artists and the actors?  What does this mean for the arts as a whole, in our country?
  3. Since when do we negotiate with terrorists?  That’s what North Korea is, right?  This is the ultimate definition of cyber terrorism.  And we are just giving in without a second thought.  Right?  Am I missing a crucial piece to this puzzle, or is it that simple?

As of right now, I’m just all around disappointed.  I wanted to see the movie.  I wanted to laugh at the inappropriate humor and the likelihood of some form of nakedness, as is typical with Seth Rogen.

But my disappointment could change into something else in the near future, as this story develops.

Stay tuned.

-A.

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