Death by comedy: How pulling ‘The Interview’ impairs the film industry



Kim Jong Un oversees the North Korean military while riding heavy artillery. The leader’s (and nation’s) rampant militarism was a point of ridicule in “The Interview”. In some releases, Sony blurred out military insignia on the characters’ costumes because they were deemed offensive to use satirically by the hackers.

Few movies have caught more international attention than the Seth RogenJames Franco comedy, “The Interview”. Hacks on Sony and subsequent threats of terror to any theater screening the movie have changed the film industry.
This comedic film revolves around a talk show host and his producer meeting and being instructed by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Such controversial subject matter is what caused the hackers, the so-called “Guardians of Peace” to hack Sony in the first place.
“We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to… All the world will denounce the SONY,” the hackers wrote.
Sony proceeded to pull the film from theaters to prevent any terrorist activity, but many have questioned what this action says about America’s response to threat and the future of political satire; already a Steve Carell comedy set in North Korea has cancelled production.
“… what happened… is likely going to have major shock-waves in our entertainment where one admittedly misjudged movie is gonna be used as a very hefty stick to remove anything politically controversial for years to come,” film critic Mathew Buck said in a video editorial.
Another problem people have with Sony giving in is that it paints America as a nation that will give in to terrorist demands. Many argue that by pulling “The Interview” we gave power and fear back to North Korea which is exactly what they wanted.
“That’s it? So Kim Jong Un gets to decide what movies we make? … They threaten people with hyperbolic language, why do we fall for that? That’s their hook!” Jon Stewart said on “The Daily Show”.
It is hard to tell what the long term effects of Sony’s decision will have on both American-North Korean relations and Hollywood productions, but the consequences are already starting to show.
To watch Mathew Buck’s editorial, visit here.