Sony Surrenders: Pulls Release of “The Interview”

Part One:

Just to be clear: I wouldn’t have paid to see the movie, “The Interview” in the theater. It’s the kind of film that I might (might) see when it came out on TV for free down way, way down the road.

Maybe. Probably not.

But the film has gotten caught up in the big Sony data breach. The hackers are making threats against theaters that were planning to screen the movie. Sony announced on Dec. 17 that was cancelling the release of the film — after threats that resulted in most of the nation’s largest movie chains announcing that wouldn’t show the film. Sony gets much of the bad PR for this, but they likely had little choice with so many theaters cancelling.  And, from the perspective of the theater chains they likely perceived the risk as greater than the reward.

Should theaters cancel screenings because of vague threats? I’d say no. That just plays into the hands of those seeking to spread fear.  I thought we’d decided long ago that we weren’t the kind of country that bows to terrorists.

Sure, we need to make suitable adjustments to security, but don’t cave into the demands of North Korea or the hackers (assuming they’re not one and the same).

Part Two:

The other part of this the mass of emails and other data that the hackers got from Sony. Lots of embarrassing comments about actors, politicians and colleagues in the entertainment industry.

Some are asking media outlets not to publish the stolen emails. A ridiculous request. Media outlets generate tons of traffic and viewership from this kind of salacious material and there’s no way TMZ and all the other entertainment shows are going to hold back. Sony makes billions creating money-making films — many of which are full of violence or sexual contact making them suitable for kids — and some adults (“Sex Tape,” “21 Jump Street,” and “The Equalizer” to name just a few).

What’s happened to Sony will probably be a movie within a few years if one isn’t in the works already.

Sony says the emails were private.  All well and good but that goes back to something I thought people had learned years ago: Don’t email anything that you don’t want to see on the front page of the paper eventually.

Or, as a colleague said this week, use the “mom test” and don’t send anything you wouldn’t want your mother to read.

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