Why must our international free speech crises be over such stupid things?

REALLY? These are our free speech heroes?

REALLY? These are our free speech heroes?

When I saw this news this morning

“The Interview’s” premiere, which was to take place at Sunshine Cinema in New York on Thursday, has been canceled, a Landmark Theatres spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter. The news came after a group calling itself Guardians of Peace, or GOP, issued a threat to movie theaters warning of Sept. 11-style attacks against those that show “The Interview,” scheduled to premiere Christmas Day. Now there’s a serious question of whether anyone will screen the movie at all. Guardians of Peace is the same group that claimed responsibility for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacks. Some investigators believe North Korea is behind the attack.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sony executives attended a meeting of the National Association of Theatre Owners on Thursday, where they told the trade group Sony would be supportive if owners elected not to screen the movie.

The Georgia-headquartered Carmike Cinemas, which operates 276 theaters and 2,904 screens in 41 states, has already taken Sony up on the offer and announced it would not be showing the movie….

… My first reaction was, If you cancel the premiere and hold off from showing the movie, the cyberterrorists win!

So my next thought is that instead of cancelling, Sony and the theaters should…

… should what? Stand up for noble principle by showing a stupid movie about a couple of doofuses trying to kill a real-life foreign leader, played for laughs?

Dang. You know, I wish that when people in the West want to go toe-to-toe with repressive regimes around the world and stand up for freedom of speech, they wouldn’t always do it with such stupid things as this, or that idiotic, offensive cartoon contest deliberately intended to mock the Prophet.

Can’t we step up our game a little bit, fellow Westerners? Let’s try going to the mat for the Magna Carta, or the Declaration of Independence, or something that doesn’t make us feel queasy to defend. This is no way to get people in benighted countries to embrace pluralism or liberal democracy.

Come on, folks. I want to advocate for our way of life. Give me something to work with…

17 thoughts on “Why must our international free speech crises be over such stupid things?

  1. Norm Ivey

    My first reaction to this whole story is that it doesn’t really rise to the level of a free speech issue. There’s no governmental intervention here. Homeland Security even says the threats are not credible. This is some wannabe terrorists looking for attention. I can’t imagine that the Orwellian-named Guardians of Peace have the resources to attack theaters all over the nation.

    Next, I think Sony has come up with a neat little marketing ploy, but when I read that Carmike may not be showing it, that kind of falls apart. Likes like a prime opportunity for Regal or someone else to get all the showings.

    Finally, I think that maybe Sony knows it’s a crappy flick, and they’re drumming up interest for the not-quite-straight-to-streaming release. I had no intention of seeing it, but now I probably will when it show up on Amazon.

    For movies opening Christmas Day, Unbroken and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes both look far more interesting.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Can’t wait for Unbroken. I listened to it on Audible during a loooooong drive to Texas and back. Great book. I hope the movie is half as compelling.

      As for The Interview, the North Koreans may have won, but so has the American movie-going public.

      1. Silence

        “As for The Interview, the North Koreans may have won, but so has the American movie-going public.” – Bryan Caskey

        I came here to say this! We (North Korea, the American Public, movie-watchers worldwide) are all winners in this deal.

  2. Mark Stewart

    I will go see the movie. Not that it matters one way or the other, but why not waste a few bucks on a stupid movie.

    Anyway, the thing about all of this that has gone unsaid is why someone would threaten a 9/11 redux over a movie – did North Korea forget what happened when Americans were killed?

      1. Silence

        A theatre in Texas is going to show “Team America World Police” instead of “The Interview” which is a 100% appropriate response.

        “By following the rules of the Film Actor’s Guild, the world can become a better place; that handles dangerous people with talk, and reasoning; that, is the F.A.G. way. One day you’ll all look at the world us actors created and say, “wow, good going, F.A.G.. You really made the world a better place, didntcha, F.A.G.?” – Arec Barrwin

  3. M.Prince

    Ok, looking for something worth defending? How’bout a film of the book, Escape from Camp 14, based on the life of North Korean prison camp inmate, Shin Dong-hyuk? Now that would be downright righteous!

    1. Bryan Caskey

      They out to just put it out on the internet for free and tell North Korea to go take a flying leap.

      Better yet, Obama should announce that he’s going to screen it at the White House this weekend. He could invite the Castro Bros. up and have a little party.

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