The debate over Sony’s decision to cancel “The Interview” is unwarranted

Sony Entertainment made a necessary choice to ensure public safety when pulling the movie from release

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Sophomore Braden Shaw strikes a pose.

Braden Shaw, JagWire editor-in-chief

Controversy is something that North Korea is neither unfamiliar with, nor uncomfortable with. This was prevalent as reports of a hack of Sony Entertainment emails and “secrets” leaking on to the internet were announced. At first, many were interested in finding behind-the-scenes movie information and how volatile the industry truly is. But more repercussions came from this leak of private plans.

A comedy featuring the likes of Seth Rogen and James Franco, titled “The Interview,” was set to come out on this past Christmas Day. The movie’s premise goes like this: Two journalists go to North Korea to interview the leader, Kim Jong-Un, but are then ordered to kill the North Korean dictator. It is all played for laughs and not meant to offend anyone, but for some, this wasn’t the case. There wasn’t much of a following until the movie was leaked by North Korea hackers either. Public outcry ensued from the American audience when multiple theaters and Sony pulled the film due to bomb threats if the film was shown in theaters.

The issue that American citizens had was the problem of losing free speech and/or giving in to terrorist threats. What those people do not understand is the concern of public safety. If Sony had shown the movie anyway, what if something devastating had happened? What if someone watching a completely different movie in that theater was harmed due to Sony’s decision? No one complaining understands the liability issues with possibly showing this movie, which validates Sony’s and the theaters’ decision to not show the film.

Not showing this film doesn’t make the theaters, Sony or the audience “less American.” Honestly, there is no right answer to this problem. President Obama may have declared this a mistake and many agreed, but this doesn’t quantify the possible harm that could have been done. The theaters and Sony needed to keep their customers safe and had to make sure no harm would be done. The film was still released via Google Play, YouTube and even Sony’s website. The bottom line: Sony and the theaters made the necessary choice and this can be used as a learning experience for future terrorist threats.

 

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