I am so glad to see that Sony has decided to screen “The Interview” after all. I must say, though, I think my wife is right, we all may have just fallen for what may be the biggest most elaborate publicity stunt of all time. Can you imagine if Sony was smart enough to do all this just to draw attention to the film? And it certainly has worked if it were a stunt. Who doesn’t know about the movie now? And many people want to go see it just as a way to protest and stick it to North Korea for messing with America.
But though there is a part of me that agrees we all may have just been had, the deepest part of me believes this whole mess with North Korea was actually the real thing.
"We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience...
I want to thank our talent on 'The Interview' and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."
Talk about a PR spin. Sony simply is caving in the opposite direction. First they caved to North Korea’s threat of violence and the releasing of more unflattering information and emails and now they are caving to pretty overwhelming public pressure and ridicule for giving in to those threats in the first place.
But whatever the motivation, it is the right decision. To not show the film, as stupid as it is, which is another irony, this movie is likely so bad it would have died in theaters on its own had North Korea not drawn attention to it, but not showing it would set a precedent so damaging that our entertainment industry might never be the same. Can you imagine if an enemy or rogue country, or even a terrorist group, realized they could dictate what we showed or made in this country? It would never stop. And the chilling impact on other studios, which tend to have a pack mentality when it comes to decisions about what to produce and distribute, would have been tremendous. It wouldn’t have been a case of stalling movies being made or already made for fear of offending bad people, it would have been that edgy scripts would simply be turned down right off the bat.
One thing we Americans take great pride in is our right to be entertained by stupid movies, videos and songs. It is one of the most important rights people here will get all worked up over. So North Korea definitely misjudged this unwritten element of our Bill of Rights. Don’t go messing with our right to mindless entertainment.
So here’s to Sony for finally seeing the light and letting that movie see the light as well. Publicity stunt or likely not, Sony may well have to consider thanking North Korea in the long run for helping the box office of this movie. Something tells me it is going to be one of their biggest hits ever now. And life in America is restored to normalcy as we can watch our silly entertainment.
Photo Credit: Sony