December 17, 2014

The Terorrists Win: Sony Cancels THE INTERVIEW

UPDATE: Sony has now officially canceled The Interview's release. There's no mention of any possible digital release, but the statement specifically uses the words "theatrical release," so I wouldn't rule anything out. I can't believe this is really happening. I can't believe we just legitimized Kim Jong Un. 

I'm supposed to go to an advanced screening of The Interview tomorrow night at my local AMC.  I've been looking forward to it all week long.  Now I'm wondering if that screening is still happening.

Sony just confirmed that the five major American theater chains, including AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment have dropped the film entirely in the wake of violent threats by Guardians Of Peace, the hacker group responsible for the now epic Sony data breach.  GOP has named the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie as the motivation for the attacks on the Culver City studio (and my one time employer) and while many suspect that the group has ties to the government of North Korea, those claims have yet to be substantiated.*

You know what else has yet to be substantiated?  Any evidence that the GOP has the ability to actually carry out any of their grammatically suspect threats of 9/11-style terror attacks.  Look, I'm all about safety first, but this feels patently ridiculous.  U.S. intelligence services and law enforcement agencies have found no credible threat against American theaters anywhere.  So why the fuck are we caving to these assholes?

I honestly have no idea.  I get that no one wants to be held responsible for another Aurora disaster and that the world is still reeling from the hostage situation in Sydney and the massacre in Peshawar, but at the end of the day we're talking about hackers, not suicide bombers.  Al-Qaeda these guys are not.  Besides, it seems unlikely that Sony would shelve the movie entirely.  Whether it gets a limited theatrical run or not, Sony will almost certainly still release it on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.  Hell, I suspect that it could show up on iTunes and On Demand in the next few weeks if none of these theaters change their mind.  (Ironically, digital platforms seem like far more likely targets for GOP than brick and mortar theaters.)  So in the end, what's the real impact other than the unfortunate optics of Hollywood bowing to pressure from a bunch of demented fuckers who are likely halfway across the world?

More importantly, there's a reason that you don't give in or negotiate with terrorists.  Because once that happens, suddenly threats of violence become a legitimate tactic that any criminal can use to actually achieve their goals.  This kind of thing only brings the crazies out of the woodwork.  As my wife texted to me upon hearing the news, "I want to start just demanding stuff.  Send Daniel Radcliffe to my house or else!  Put Benedict Cumberbatch in all the movies or else something something!"  At this point her demands are just as valid. 

*ABC News is now making unconfirmed reports that the FBI may actually be connecting the dots between GOP and North Korea, but they have yet to make an official statement at this time.

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