Thursday, December 18, 2014

Terror threat cancels movie premiere - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

This represents a serious capitulation to online terror threats.

Giving in to an online threat from the group Guardians of Peace that claims responsibility for hacking Sony Pictures, the theatre owner of the venue where the New York premiere of The Interview was to take place has cancelled the event. Catherine Shoard of The Guardian reports:
The New York premiere of The Interview, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film depicting a fictional assassination attempt on the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has been cancelled.
The premiere was to have taken place on Thursday at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in Manhattan. A spokesperson for the cinema confirmed the event had been pulled late on Tuesday US time.
The move follows a message sent earlier in the day from a group calling itself Guardians of Peace, warning audiences that they would place themselves in danger by going to see the film in a US cinema.
The online message said people who chose to see the film could look forward to a “bitter fate”, that the world would be “full of fear”, and hinted that another 9/11-style attack could be expected.
This represents a serious capitulation to online terror threats. It is quite possible that some exhibitors will cancel or truncate showings of the film, as well. This could have very serious consequences for our popular culture, causing creative people to pass up any controversial topics that could offend anyone. Heck, they already treat Islam with kid gloves. But now that North Korea or its proxies appear to have gotten in the game, others will follow.

Theatres are especially vulnerable, as they admit large numbers of people, who may simply skip the event if intrusive searches are conducted.  Theatrical exhibition of movies is already in serious trouble thanks to the appeal of home theatres (it has been quite a long time since I last entered a movie theatre).

Further thoughts: What happens when ISIS decides that sex and nudity in our movies must stop and threatens to bomb theatres showing what they regard as unacceptable content. What about depictions of homosexuality, that Hollywood loves almost as much as heterosexual sex and nudity? Will they cave in? After all, ISIS and its allies have far more access to the means of terror within our borders than does North Korea.

Thomas Lifson


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