Thursday, December 18, 2014

Does Sony’s Decision to Cancel The Interview Denote the Death of Freedom of Speech?

I wasn’t going to write anything today. In fact, I wasn’t going to write anything until January.

But I want to say a few things about Sony’s decision to cancel its film The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Sony got seriously hacked and threatened over the movie, which was supposed to air on Christmas day. The hacking part of the equation led to identity theft issues (with actors’ social security numbers and other personal information being taken) and security issues, since Sony was told to expect a 9/11-style attack on theatres should they show it.

With that concern, Sony just decided it wasn’t worth the risk. It’s pulling the theatrical release.

Understandably, this is a big deal, especially in light of rising proof that the wannabe-terrorist state of North Korea is behind it all. People both inside and outside of Hollywood are freaking out at how brutally the right to freedom of speech was just silenced.

Here are just a few Tweets going around, as republished by Yahoo:

Judd Apatow (Tweeted prior to Sony’s decision): “I think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?”

Jimmy Kimmel (in response to Apatow): “I agree wholeheartedly. An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.”

Rob Lowe: “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.”

Now, here’s the thing: They’re not wrong. At all. We do have to wonder what else tech-savvy terrorists will demand now. Sony did just advertise that it can be pushed around. The hackers did win, and I’m sure they’re thinking about other ways they can pull similar stunts going forward.

But let’s take a second to think about The Interview itself. It’s a comedy about going into North Korea with a plan to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un. Considering the previews and the actors involved and the very premise, you can be sure that this movie is filled with typical Hollywood trash, scantily-clad women, swear words and general lameness.

In other words, everyone’s freaking out about how our right to freedom of speech has been violated… when we’ve already trampled all over on it ourselves. We’ve made a mockery of the Second Amendment with what we choose to champion and what we let others – like Hollywood, incidentally – silence us on. And we’ve done it quite nicely without North Korea’s help.

So basically, if these hackers really want to put America in its place, my suggestions is to keep letting us go down the same stupid path we’re already on.

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