Kervyn posted a lengthy piece yesterday on Sony Pictures’ decision to cancel the release of The Interview following threats of terrorist action against movie theatres should screenings of the movie go ahead on Christmas Day. This was subsequent to five of the US’ largest cinema chains deciding against screening the movie because of these threats; and further motivated by additional threats to release a substantial amount of personal information on Sony Pictures employees into the wild. While numerous sources speaking off the record are pointing fingers at North Korea for the Sony hack no official statement has yet been made; while a number of other publications are still dubious about that claim. Whatever the truth, it doesn’t change the immediate outcome – no screenings of The Interview. This has caused a tremendous amount of debate over the issue and the response.
In the wake of the cancellation on the 17th one US cinema, the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas Texas, decided to approach the issue in a freedom-loving way – by offering a single screening of Team America: World Police on Christmas Day. As a spokesman for the cinema told Hollywood Reporter, “We’re just trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation.” For those of you who’ve been
riving living under a lock rock the movie famously rampooned lampooned the previous Great Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il, who was apparently quite ronery lonely. I thought it was a really clever response given the circumstances, and a few other cinemas indicated they would follow suit.
However today I woke up to some sad news. Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the movie, has nixed any screenings and will not offer the movie for exhibition. This was confirmed by the Alamo Drafhouse spokesmans, “We can confirm that the screening of ‘Team America’ was canceled as the film was pulled from release. We are issuing refunds to those that purchased tickets.” While we can debate the right and wrong about movie chains cancelling screenings of The Interview and Sony Pictures’ subsequent cancellation based on the credibility of threats of terrorist actions (“Guardians” of “Peace” indeed) and publication of detailed personal information, and even about who’s responsible; this reaction by Paramount Pictures seems more clear cut to me – it’s the wrong response. It seems like a knee-jerk response based simply on fear of possible negative consequences for Paramount Pictures themselves… for a movie released a decade ago that is widely available for purchase. Hell, clips are all over Youtube for anyone to see, so the cat’s out of the bag and has been for a long time.
How do you feel about this?
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Last Updated: December 19, 2014