It’s a Christmas miracle! I guess! The controversial movie The Interview, which depicts the fictional (and supposedly comedic) assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, will be shown in select movie theaters on Christmas Day this week. Moreover, Sony Pictures Entertainment – which had pulled plans to release the movie theatrically following a massive cyber-attack and subsequent threats of violence against movie theaters showing the film – still reportedly has plans to distribute The Interview via media streaming services.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton offered up a statement with regard to the studio’s decision to press on with the screenings:
“We are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”
That’s nice, and definitely a positive step toward fighting censorship via terror threats. Let’s also not forget: this movie looks bad, and now that Sony has the ability to make a brave statement by offering a limited release, it will undoubtedly see huge box office returns (relatively speaking, at least, given that some theaters are still not showing The Interview).
The report also cites an insider who says that Sony still has plans to release The Interview through some digital streaming means, though which one or ones are still not decided.
In the end, this is a victory for the first amendment. While the cyber-attack that hit Sony had far reaching effects, in the end, it could have been much worse. When Sony seemed to capitulate to the subsequent terror threats related to the movie’s release, it faced legitimate criticism over what doing so could signify in the larger scale. If someone doesn’t like your movie, they could send in threats and force it out of theaters. While I’m not sure The Interview deserves the media push it’s seeing right now on its merits as a piece of art, at the very least it might end up setting a positive precedent for the future of expression in America and the world at large.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]