While I am hardly the first person to lament the unfortunate course of recent events in the entertainment industry concerning the film, The Interview, I do feel I should go on record. It’s over – or it soon will be anyway.
Free expression in this country is doomed.
Members of the entertainment industry – exhibitors, distributors, and studio executives have caved to threats.
And for what? A Seth Rogen/James Franco film? Threats from North Korea? Give me a break. The free world has been staring down its rocket launchers at the North Koreans since the 1950s and it is going to take a movie to provoke an international incident? All due props to Rogen and Franco – but we’re talking about satire here.
Let’s be clear. I am not jumping on board with the ever-so-trite “now the terrorists win” crowd. Nor am I joining in with the glazed-over jingoistic flag raisers. What I am saying is that the decision to pull The Interview from theaters is tantamount to censorship.
The precedent, my friends, has been irrevocably set. And so now whenever anything offends anyone at anytime all they have to do is make some threats and well…there you have it. What has happened to us? Will this now lead to government censorship? Corporate censorship? Self censorship? It’s all fair game.
So here is my response to all involved in pulling this film: STICK IT.
Art exists to challenge, to push boundaries, to inspire. It exists so individuals can freely express whatever they want – be it offensive or not. It even exists to make people angry. And trust me, every artistic endeavor contains within it a little something to upset everybody. So I guess we’re done now. It’s ruined. Now every artist will have to consider whether or not his or her work will ever reach the public – for fear of its potential to incite…something that might put someone off.
And if you think this stops with art…well guess again. Your intellectual freedom is next on the chopping block.
But of course, I’m not entirely ruling out the possibility that this whole thing is just a clever ruse undertaken by Sony to drum up interest for a film. If that’s the case…good one. Subterfuge, I like it.