Seth Rogen James Franco The InterviewThe Founding Fathers knew that the right to free speech was important, which is why it is covered in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights. Today, Dec. 17, 2014, is the day that U.S. capitulation clowns at Sony gave a dictator veto power over the free speech rights of its American artists and sent a message to thug regimes that if they have enough tech savvy, then they can make studio executives cower in fear.

Here is what the First Amendment says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — Amendment I, U.S. Constitution.

Sony isn’t rolling over for the U.S. government, but instead doing something even worse — it’s censoring itself to appease a Communist thug regime that runs gulags.

Here is Sony’s statement regarding its decision to pull “The Interview” from theaters. It also has no plans to release the film in any formincluding VOD or DVD.

“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

Cowards. American blood was shed to guarantee that our rights to free speech, press, petition, assembly, and religion could be upheld, but in the face of threats by anonymous hackers on the other side of the globe, Sony crumbled. And before Sony made an utter embarrassment out of itself, the five major movie theater circuits did the same thing: Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark and Cineplex Entertainment.

Imagine you’re Vladimir Putin. Imagine you’re Iran’s Ali Khamenei. Imagine you’re Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro or China’s Xi Jinping. Is it more or less likely that you would be willing to use hackers to impose your will upon American companies and stifle dissent?

Imagine you’re a writer for a major motion studio. Would you craft any screenplays in the near future that challenge the world’s worst dictators and despots? The message Sony has sent to the world by pulling “The Interview” is downright chilling and its executives should be reminded of it for years to come.

Anyone who cares about free speech should be downright terrified that companies operating in the U.S. would run for the hills the moment a nebulous hacking group threatens Americans with violence. The fact that it was even under consideration to torpedo the film is an indicator that America’s cultural rotgut has grown to gargantuan proportions. We have been hollowed out from the inside, and Sony’s reaction to being hacked by the “Guardians of Peace” has exposed that sad reality for everyone to see.

Sony does not “stand by” its filmmakers. In fact, it is doing the exact opposite. It stabbed Seth Rogen and James Franco in the back, and it sucker punched millions of Americans who realize just how dangerous it is to appease dictatorial regimes.

Calling someone “un-American” should be done only on rare occasions due to the seriousness of the charge. However, I firmly believe that any American employee of Sony who backs the decision to kill “The Interview’s” theatrical release is taking part in something that is wholly and unequivocally un-American.

Related: Seth Rogen rightly called out Sony’s capitulation to North Korean thugs prior to hacking

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

21 comments

  1. I think this is a lame move on Sony’s part, and sets a dangerous precedent. If Sony caves into communist thugs, what’s to stop other countries from bullying other American companies into submission? They’re not unlike those whiny college students who block conservative speakers such as Condoleeza Rice and George Will from giving commencement speeches because it might make them feel “unsafe.”

    1. When I read Sony’s decision I was just dumbfounded. People laugh because this was all prompted by a movie starring Seth Rogen, but the implications of what went on with all of this are huge.

  2. And so it begins: North Korea-Based Thriller With Gore Verbinski And Steve Carell Canceled

    The chilling effect of the Sony Pictures hack and terrorist threats against The Interview are reverberating. New Regency has scrapped another project that was to be set in North Korea. The untitled thriller, set up in October, was being developed by director Gore Verbinski as a star vehicle for Foxcatcher star Steve Carell. The paranoid thriller written by Steve Conrad was going to start production in March. Insiders tell me that under the current circumstances, it just makes no sense to move forward. The location won’t be transplanted. Fox declined to distribute it, per a spokesman.

  3. This shit makes his opposition to (and his sending dick pics towards) #GamerGate (Which is staunchly anti-censorship and pro-creative freedom) VERY DELICIOUS.

    Real talk though, I believe his movie shouldn’t be pulled and censored over threats. The sentiment in #GamerGate is also similar.

    1. Seth Rogen has shown that he is certainly capable of acting — needlessly — like a jerk when people disagree with him. It is quite ironic he bashed GamerGate, and now he’s bashing the media for its coverage of the Sony hacking. And it is ironic that he bashed GamerGate, and now his movie has been censored from public view.

  4. Maybe the far left of reason in Hollywood will learn from this since it was their views that came to bite them in the end, then again I am sure they would not understand the repercussions of what they have done. They got what they asked for, but since it impacts them they now care. Unfortunately it impacts all of us negatively as well. Think of how many stories we will have to change in order to not offend them.

    They eat their own.

    1. The interesting thing about Hollywood is that it would like to essentially replicated itself culturally on a national level. Look at how all of them are scared stiff at a few threats of a dictator. Is that that the mentality America wants to instil in its national consciousness? Sadly, Hollywood has done a really good job of making that happen, which is bad news for the country. The U.S. has, in many respects, lost its spine.

  5. It may be time to bring Team America World Police back to the theater. I find it funny how tough guy comic writers are responding since they brought this on themselves. They truly are from Marz (pun intended).

  6. And now, it appears The Interview won’t even get an international release:

    Deadline can confirm that international audiences won’t get to see The Interview either. Sony’s statement Wednesday that the studio was pulling the U.S. Christmas Day release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco picture did not explicitly mention the film’s international roll-out, which had been set for after the New Year.

    We have now learned that Sony has no plans to release the film anywhere for the foreseeable future. The news comes despite the lack- at least in public- of the same kind of terrorist threat against Sony’s international operations as was made against the studio’s U.S. release.

    The Interview had been set to open across all major European territories in January and February. Those plans are now off.

    http://deadline.com/2014/12/the-interview-international-sony-north-korea-1201329347/

  7. This really sets a dangerous precedent. Like I said earlier, hat’s to stop other foreign dictatorships from strong-arming private American corporations into submission? We’ve really become a nation of wimps, cowering in front of thuggish dictators instead of standing up to them. I think Steve Carrell Tweeted a picture of Chaplin in the “Great Dictator” in response to Sony’s cowardice. That movie was made at a time when Hollywood had guts. They don’t anymore.

  8. And now, it looks like Paramount is in need of a spine transplant, as well:

    Forget those plans by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other theaters to run Team America: World Police in place of The Interview. The Austin-based chain says that Paramount has now decided not to offer South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s 2004 satire that focuses on Kim Jong-il, the late father of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Alamo says that the cancellation at its Dallas theater is “due to circumstances beyond our control” and says it will offer refunds to those who have already bought tickets. Cleveland’s Capitol Theater also tweeted that Team America “has been canceled by Paramount Pictures.”

    http://deadline.com/2014/12/paramount-cancel-team-america-1201329597/

    Looks like the slippery slope is already happening.

    1. Pathetic. Like I said, we’ve become a nation of spineless wimps, caving into thuggish dictators instead of standing up to them. They don’t have the guts to take on thugs like Kim Jong-Un anymore. We’re really going downhill.

    1. No problem man. WordPress just puts it into the “pending” bin if it has links and I’ve been busy at work today. I don’t want you to think I was ignoring the post, but I’ll delete it at your request.

  9. Ah, to fondly remember the days where The Producers were wheeling out classics like “Springtime for Hitler”….Hollywood’s satirical edge has been softened considerably by this, and the fact there won’t be an international release gives those with the intimidation powers a much larger extension of influence. They could indeed inspire so many other copycats to throw their lot in with anything shown on other sides of the ponds (and us Brits have a lot of near-the-knuckle satirical comedies as it is that touch all bases, I would recommend watching the vintage 1990s media scourge “Brass Eye” and the more recent Charlie Brooker shows “Weekly Wipe” and “Black Mirror”)

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