So let’s just get one thing straight. What happened to The Interview (2014?) is outrageous. It’s censorship plain and simple. It’s a gross act. It’s blackmail. It’s also a real shame that Sony have pulled the film from release (don’t get me wrong it looks about as funny as one might expect but censorship is not, and never should be, a value issue) but are they really ‘cowards’ or comparable to Neville Chamberlain?
Seems to me that the cowardice belongs entirely to North Korea and it’s demented tyrant child leader rather than Sony, a company that has already been attacked, has done the sums and sees that they don’t add up. A company that works in an industry where art is a by-product of sales. Well, this is capitalism folks, this is the ‘market is always right’. This is a world where we have swallowed the cool-aid and accepted the twisted notion that corporations are people then get all upset when they don’t encompass the best that actual humans (you know, ‘people’) can be.
Have Sony behaved any worse than a film company who spends a year digitally replacing the flag of one nation with another because the bad guys d’jour turned out to be a decent market share (and they all look alike don’t they)? Or a company that buys foreign film rights in order to block their distribution? Or companies that prop up a ratings board economically censoring anything that strays outside of the heteronormative and denying a voice / representation to millions?
…but popular sentiment says that Sony, an entity who’s whole reason for being is itself, is Chamberlain and plenty of multi-millionaires who, as well as having the luxury of not having had a demented country attack and threaten them, could buy the film and give it out for free get to spend their days berating them in 140 characters or less rather than actually doing something about it.
So my defence of Sony is that they, sorry, ‘it’ isn’t built to function any differently. My disappointment is that we think ‘it’ is a real boy.
My money is on The Interview being released sooner rather than later and everyone ends up annoyed, feeling slightly played and people mistake corporate self-interest for bravery. Meanwhile no one learns any more about the dreadful situation that the North Korean people find themselves in but the leader has a funny haircut so, well, that’s funny. Right?