It seems that the U.S. Government is taking this whole hoopla surrounding The Interview, taking what began as a bit of corporate espionage and blossoming it into a full blown international incident. Since Friday, there have been numerous government comments on the matter and one big fat fake threat from folks claiming to be the group Anonymous. All of them pointing at North Korea as the culprit, despite the nation denying all involvement and many claiming the facts are a bit loose at their foundations.
Now we have a North Korea with massive Internet problems and a government split on calling this online vandalism or an act of war. On top of that, there are now members of Congress pushing to have the movie screened at the Capitol and shoved out to the public. Democratic Represenative Brad Sherman from California sent a letter to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton to offer the halls of legislation up to the Seth Rogen/James Franco film. From Variety:
Sherman, also chairman of the Entertainment Industries Caucus, wrote that threats from North Korea should not stop Americans from seeing any movie. “We have a responsibility to stand up against these attempts at intimidation,” he wrote.
“Screening ‘The Interview’ will demonstrate the U.S. Congress’s support of the freedom of speech. This is about our right to live without fear, and knowing that our values will not be compromised by the idle threats of a despotic regime. Good or bad, Americans should not be deprived of the opportunity to see this movie.”
He continued, “It is now the responsibility of the U.S. government to allocate the necessary resources to ensure moviegoers’ safety. We must help Sony Pictures, movie theater owners, and moviegoers regain the confidence to go see ‘The Interview.’”
How is this the government’s responsibility? It is their responsibility to ensure businesses aren’t hacked by foreign countries, sure, but it isn’t their business if a movie gets released or not. If the folks in Congress truly cared about movie goers, they might’ve took a real stand after the events in Aurora, Colorado or at least after Transformers: Age of Extinction.
My point here is what can they truly do to assuage the fears of moviegoers? Soldiers in the aisles? The issues that cause trouble at the movie theaters are not stemming from the studios and box offices and it shouldn’t take the alleged influence of North Korea to spark them into action.
Sony obviously can use the help because this is a pretty horrible turn of events for the employees there. This movie should get a release, good or bad, but I hardly think it is the government’s place to make it happen. I don’t see where it stops fuel from being thrown on the fire. It only makes it worse.