Speaking Up

Why "The Interview" matters to you

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Speaking Up

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

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The Interview

 

Let’s talk about “The Interview.” Chances are, over winter break you paid little attention to current events around you, but caught wind of the international conflict sparked by the Sony Pictures film. In case you missed the headlines, Sony was allegedly hacked by North Korea. Sony then pulled “The Interview” from its scheduled theatrical release after threats referencing 9/11 were made against anyone who viewed the movie.

The film focuses on two friends who work on a television show together. The two land an interview with Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. They are approached by the CIA with the request for aid in his assassination. The plot could be taken as threatening until you read the byline and realize it’s a Seth Rogen comedy. That’s right, the world went up in flames over a few political jokes and a boatload of crude humor.

The question remains, should Sony have pulled the movie from its scheduled release? It seems most of the country has sided against Sony’s decision, including President Obama. Because of limited support from theaters around the country, Sony may have had no choice, but the halt of the release did nothing except make Americans look cowardly and controllable.

We are lucky enough to live in a country full of rights; one of the biggest being freedom of speech. In the past few weeks, the world has seen a new wave of the terrorism intersecting with the freedom of expression. All of “The Interview” commotion was quickly followed by the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France; an attempt to dismantle an entire country for the things a single news source wrote satirically. Although it may seem like a disconnected issue, it is a testament to what other nations have found important to combat. The world has watched the people of France come together through actions and words, standing up for their right to speech, and showcasing their strength as a country.

Now, more than ever, it is vital for Americans, particularly us as students, to stand up for our rights. What kind of message does it send to the rest of the world that under a threat of terror, we will back down from one of our greatest characteristics? A movie produced for $44 million should not be shoved into a closet and laid to rest based on the testy attitude of a foreign leader.

As current students, we are the successors to those now in positions facing worldwide conflict. The controversy surrounding “The Interview” may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the war on terror; this won’t be the last terror-driven event in our lifetime, so hopefully we can learn from it. The moral of the situation is that our right to free expression has been threatened, and in the future, any right that we cherish must be fought for instead of making the decision recede from unsolicited dispute.

The most important thing is that, despite the cat fight, the film is now available to the public. It can be streamed on demand or many places online, including Google and YouTube. After viewing, you may reach the same conclusion; that conflict over this mediocre film was a waste of time and energy, but still, Seth Rogen should probably direct more comedies.

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