Ward: Pulling ‘The Interview’ shows potential weakness in the US

Madison Ward

In the 238 years that The United States has been its own nation, we have faced many obstacles like the Civil War, slavery and the Civil Rights movement. In our more recent history we have tangled with ISIS terrorist plots after the filmed beheading of journalists overseas.

The point is that as a country, we have had no shortage of potential opportunities to be torn apart at the seams but we didn’t let it happen. Recently, we have been hit with another set of threats but our reaction was quite unorthodox for the United States. Instead of standing strong and using our natural rights as a guidepost, we let a threat permeate one of the most influential industries in this country.

“The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogan, has been pulled from theaters by Sony Pictures because of threats that the FBI determined were made by North Korean hackers regarding the movie. The highly anticipated satirical film, which was set to release on December 11, depicted the demise of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un at the hands of two American talk show hosts (Franco and Rogan) Apparently some very skilled hackers took it personally.

Some move theaters around the country have made the decision to air the movie on Christmas and will decide how long they will be keeping the movie in their theater. While this is a step in the right direction, it is simply not enough. 

Unless you’re in the entertainment business it is likely that you haven’t seen the film, but it does not take too much brain power to figure out that this film was in no way a real threat to North Korea.

The previews have been televised for quite some time now and it is evident that the purpose of the film was pure entertainment, not an act of war. The official synopsis from Sony Pictures says that the two men selected by the CIA to assassinate Jong-un were probably the “least-unqualified men imaginable,” which is a fairly clear indication that comedy is going to ensue. However, for some reason we listened to the threats of some hackers about a movie that was never meant to cause any harm in the first place. This action does not mimic any of the previous action in terms of threats in the past, so what does it say about where we’re heading as a country?

In years past when something directly impacted this nation we didn’t let it decide what we would do, we decided what we would do based upon what was the best course of action at the time. Take the bombing on Pearl Harbor for example. In December of 1941 the Japanese dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor, which is located near Honolulu, Hawaii. Very shortly after that America entered World War II. 9/11 is another prime example. When the World Trade Center was attacked, President Bush had American soldiers in Afghanistan by that October; acting in the best interest of the public because these were true threats against American safety.

In fact our own President’s opinion, as well as my own, is that we made a tactical error by not releasing this movie. By allowing these threats to get under our skin and ultimately lead Sony Pictures to pull the film, we are telling North Korea that we are intimidated by them before they have even done anything big. We are also letting them dictate one of our rights as American citizens, which is the right to free speech. If Hollywood and Sony Pictures wants to make a movie about the assassination of someone, they should be able to without having to worry about receiving death threats after the fact.

It’s clear that this was a precautionary move in hopes to prevent something big from happening. But precautions, especially large ones such as this, can come off to others as lack of confidence in one’s ability to handle what could result and we cannot have another nation looking at us and thinking that we are anything but a confident and capable country.