For the record, I’m furious at all those theater chains (Carmike, AMC, Cineplex, Regal, etc.) that announced today they wouldn’t show The Interview in their theaters. And I’m furious at Sony for announcing shortly thereafter that they were not going to release the film. They all caved to this threat from (according to the FBI) North Korean hackers:
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.
And wouldn’t you know, I’d begun thinking I’d go see the film. Not because I have the slightest interest in it, because I don’t. But just to make a point.
I sympathize with Sony, even though their less-than-stellar security has been known about for some time, and even though I thought it ridiculous when they demanded the media not publish the stolen information that was already being widely circulated on social media. They’ve suffered devastating breaches of their computer systems and millions in damages.
And I can sympathize with the theaters. They can run other movies and not risk the possible consequences, however remote, of showing The Interview. The losses, if any, would be Sony’s.
But I’m still angry. Did Sony and the theaters consider the consequences of giving in to the demands of these hackers (calling themselves Guardians of Peace or GOP), of yielding our freedom of speech and assembly here in the US just because criminals in another country don’t like it?
The hackers’ goal was to stop Sony from releasing a satirical film about an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. They succeeded. Sony and the theaters backed down, tapped out, threw in the towel.
Bad precedent. Very bad precedent. Following this example, it’s likely newly emboldened hackers around the world are already contemplating their next big target in America.