The Return of The Interview

Today, Sony announced that they’ll be releasing The Interview after all. Which got me thinking, maybe overthinking… in the end, how much did Sony really suffer in all this? Because if the cyberattack were just a massive publicity stunt…

And let’s be honest: would that really have been more irresponsible than making this movie in the first place?

Original article: December 18, 2014

interviewThe first time I saw a trailer for The Interview, I was astounded by what a stupid concept this was: among other consequences, I thought this could be a tremendous propaganda tool for North Korea, and it might endanger American journalists overseas. I would never suggest in any way that Sony should be prevented from releasing the film — but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.

Obviously I never saw the massive cyberattack coming; but honestly, while I don’t condone massive cyberattacks, I had no sympathy for Sony getting smacked around over this. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

And now we have people demanding to know why Obama isn’t retaliating for this “act of terrorism.”

Well, first, this wasn’t terrorism: it was an act of retaliation against a certain entity for a certain action.

Second, I hope we now have a national policy of only retaliating once we know we’re retaliating against the right people.

Third, Sony isn’t even an American company.

And finally, of course, a movie studio being hacked isn’t a national security issue.

Do I like the idea of a movie being pulled because of outside intimidation (even though there’s no reason to assume anybody would be harmed other than Sony executives being further embarrassed)? Absolutely not. In fact, I’d have a modicum of respect for Sony if they DID release it: if they thought making this movie was important enough to endanger other people, the least they can do is not back down when they’re the ones taking the heat.

And who knows, cyberattacks forcing the recall of a movie might give REAL terrorists ideas.

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Published in: on December 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm  Comments (9)  

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That was my first thought on hearing the news, but actually I had been thinking it for a while and wondered when the break would come.

  2. The first time I saw a trailer for The Interview, my main reaction was trying to remember the name of the familiar-faced lead actress (apparently), ad where I had seen her before. and irritation that the trailer didn’t seem to name her. Are Franco and Rogen such superstars that the advertising value of splashing their names far outshines anybody else?

    Well, it’s Lizzy Caplan. And I probably recognized her from the 3 or 4 episodes of “Masters of Sex” I watched.

  3. . . .I had no sympathy for Sony getting smacked around over this. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

    “Smacked around” is a much too mild way of describing this. Their private records were stolen, and they/their distributors were threatened with physical violence. Freedom of expression comes with consequences like people criticizing you, boycotting you, and taking other appropriate legal actions. When expression is deterred through illegal forms of intimidation, that’s not speech having normal consequences – that’s terrorism.

  4. “Third, Sony isn’t even an American company.”

    Actually, it is. Well, the part of the global Sony conglomerate that was attacked, anyway. (They bought an American studio (Columbia Tri-Star), and then renamed it to “Sony Pictures Entertainment”)

    Before Sony, it was largely owned by Coca-Cola. How much more American can you get?

  5. “And now we have people demanding to know why Obama isn’t retaliating for this “act of terrorism.”

    Well, first, this wasn’t terrorism: it was an act of retaliation against a certain entity for a certain action.”

    If you ignore the terrorism and focus on the computer attacks, maybe. But they did make terroristic threats, as well… this is what caused the studio to cancel the release of the film (before, obviously, changing their minds and going ahead with release plans.)

    I’m not going to see it… not because of the studio, and not because of the threats, but simply because I see very few movies. YMMV.

  6. BTW, I wasn’t merely being unaware of the so-called issues. I just think there is nothing at all to be concluded from Sony’s decisions or changes of mind, or from President Obama’s comments thereupon.

  7. “Because if the cyberattack were just a massive publicity stunt…”

    IF? I’m still not convinced it wasn’t purely a publicity stunt.

    Fact: Sony gets hacked, and lots of emails are released. Then, just a few days later, Sony gets hacked again, pushing that story off the front page. There’s just too much of a coincidence here.

  8. I’m not convinced that NK had anything to do with the hack in the first place. The whole connection with THE INTERVIEW idea came up, what, weeks after the original hack and all the things being released?

    • The NK thing was pretty much immediate. Well, Sony blamed NK right away. The FBI took some time confirming it.


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