Sony’s not-so-merry Christmas

Despite this being the season of giving, movie-maker Sony Pictures has not been feeling the love. This month the company has been hacked so hard it makes the leaked nudes of Jennifer Lawrence look like an accident. The FBI reports North Korean cyber attackers are the ones with a new interest in the happenings of Tinsel Town.

Besides leaking embarrassing company emails (we’re all on your side Angie), Sony Pictures received threats from the cyber attackers warning if the movie “The Interview” was shown, it wouldn’t be a merry Christmas after all. The film, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco, features the the comedic duo attempting the take out North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un.

It would seem Kim Jong-un wasn’t a fan of satire. Or fun in general. Sony Pictures received this email, directly threatening movie-goers if the film was released as planned.

Warning
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

Since announcing their decision to not release the film in theaters, celebrities and the like have been lining up to put coal is Sony’s Christmas stocking. They criticized the move, saying Sony is allowing a terrorist to strip our creative freedom. Even President Obama took Sony off the nice list, saying they made a mistake.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don’t like, or news reports they don’t like,” Obama said.

Of course there is always more to the story. Sony CEO  Michael Lynton said major movie theaters across the country were pulling out, refusing to show the film citing safety concerns.

Stuck between a rock and hard place, Sony pulled the plug and is now feeling the heat in the dead of winter. But what are those criticizing Sony really asking for? Creative freedom over the safety of theater-goers? A quick reminder that movie theaters, while great for watching action flicks, make attendees sitting ducks for a shooter. In 2012, a midnight viewing of “The Dark Knight” turned much darker when James Holmes killed 12 and injured 70 inside the Aurora theater.

Plenty have said the threat against movie goers was an empty one and Sony caved too quickly. It’s an empty threat until someone is hurt and then tide turns for Sony with crashing waves asking, “Why didn’t you pay attention to these threats?”

While no answer is a happy one, I’m betting the events surrounding this film is a movie script akin to “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” waiting to happen. But I am hoping in the remake, they let Franco’s younger and cuter brother David play James.

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