SONY Pictures, responsible for the so-called "comedy" flick, 'The Interview', is now in a world of hurt, feverishly doing damage control after a monumental hack by a bunch believed to be either North Korean or North Korean sympathizers. From news reports last night it's estimated that up to 100 terabytes of data may have been released, including thousands of private emails that have already embarrassed plenty of agents, studio execs, and stars. I am not going to repeat word for word what was said in those emails because I believe to dredge them up merely compounds the original assault. This would be analogous to a porn voyeur DLing nude Jennifer Lawrence images from a website that hacked them off her instagram.
But the question which occurred to both wifey and myself - as this news broke, is why a major Hollywood studio would put itself into harm's way and blowback by allowing a film to be produced that had as its main plot the assassination of another nation's leader. And let's cut the crap about this movie being "comedy" or satire or anything of the sort. Just think if another nation - say North Korea, or Russia- had pushed out a film about the assassination of a U.S. President. Do you seriously believe we'd sit back and let them get away with it? If so, you're further into la-la land than CIA Chief John Brennan who yesterday referred to torture as "EITs".
Further, no comedy I know of has ever featured a final scene with the exploding head of the assassinated leader - replete with so much gore that a studio honcho even had to ask Seth Rogen if there wasn't some way to tone it down. (Rogen replied he'd take out "three" of the four" massive wounds - but the exploding head had to remain else "there'd be no joke"). I mean seriously, Seth? Can you not see you are totally deranged? Apart from that, let's agree there are certain cultures and nations that don't do such "humor" and hence to even put such a film out there in the public domain the studio would have to know invited some kind of reprisal.
Indeed, an LA Times account of the studio debate, featured on a Chris Hayes' All In segment two nights ago (and which can also be glimpsed I the first link at the end), showed that SONY execs were indeed worried - as they ought to have been. The LA Times header declared:
'SONY Picture Execs Debated Risk of 'The Interview' Before Cyberattack'
We also read, highlighted on Hayes' segment:
"Studio executives were cautioned by the Department of Homeland Security this summer that the film could provoke retaliation."
Did the studio listen? Did they pay attention? Hell no! They went ahead with the production despite the risks they knew had to exist, living in la-la land (A SONY exec denied being warned, but this is more likely just an effort to cover the studio's ass.)
Also, as Hayes' segment showed via some of the excavated emails, SONY brass "worried over Kim's Fate in 'The Interview'. Well, they ought to have! Leaving the dude bloody with at least four (initial) massive wounds in the final and graphic scene. And let's again clear our heads - given this whole country seems to be slowly descending into insanity and an inability to reason properly: e.g. worshipping an 18,000 DOW while infrastructure crumbles, calling torture "enhanced interrogation" - and a majority of American sheeple now supporting it, and issuing a spending bill with an amendment that could sink the whole economy again - ignoring the lessons of the 2008 crisis.
Then producing a film featuring an assassination of a real head of state. I mean, it's one thing to imply hurt to a leader in a movie scene, it's another to actually show it - which is sure to enrage that nation and its people who take their leader's welfare seriously - no matter how much we may make jokes.
Another thing that brought this on is the use of actual names as opposed to fictitious ones. The studio thereby committed the same error as the inflammatory video movie ‘Desert Warrior’ with its trashing of the Prophet Mohammed back in September, 2012 - which directly incited the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, as a subsequent NY Times investigation showed.
Recall in ‘Desert Warrior’ in the actors' actual script the Prophet Mohammed was called “George”. Actress Cindy Garcia, who made the script-based (fictional) child molestation accusations against “George” (as she pointed out to ABC interviewer Brian Ross) had no remote idea the references were to be later altered when the film was released by the renegade film maker, Sam Bacile, aka Basselly Nakoula, who adopted the nom-de-plume “Sam Bacile” for the purposes of avoiding responsibility for his disgusting film.
As I noted in a blog post at the time:
"Let's get this straight once and for all: Any movie made under "bait and switch" false pretenses, to the extent the partaking actors are lied to concerning the film content, characters, is NO work of cinematic art but a TERRORIST act - especially when it incepts the violent reactions it did!"
I will now add to that and include any film which depicts a realistic killing of a living head of state, especially machinated by an agency (CIA) known to have actually planned and killed heads of state in the past, e.g.
The CIA was also responsible for having Chile's Salvador Allende assassinated, and attempted to hit Fidel Castro via its then operation ZR/Rifle, which was later turned against John F. Kennedy - at the behest of William Harvey and his Staff D NSA -driven affiliate (which roped in Lee Oswald as the patsy).
My point is that there is a real history concerning the CIA taking out heads of state via historically documented assassinations, or hiring others to do it for them (Mafia, in the case of ZR/Rifle). Therefore, when you concoct a fictional film plot depicting the CIA arranging an assassination of a head of state, there are many who will likely take it seriously, not as frivolous fare.
Had SONY done due diligence in researching all this genuine history, and then scuttled this screwball movie, they likely wouldn't be in the predicament they're now in - trying to limit the fallout from the cyber leaks. This is not to justify the hack, only again to note that when reckless stimuli are circulated such as this movie, or the earlier Desert Warrior, there is bound to be blowback.
People need to think, clearly reason, before they allow their Ids to unleash a provocative film that may incur harsh blowback. In this case, Seth Rogen and James Franco ought to have had the brains never to have even proposed this inflammatory nonsense to a major studio. The studio, at the final stage of the green light, ought to have tossed the script into the dumpster and said a firm 'NO!'. There is free speech and then there is shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, which isn't free speech. Other nations do not share our overly liberal view of how and what speech is "free" and in Germany you can still get a year in prison for denying the holocaust - even in jest. And when you present a CIA-backed assassination of a head of state, even mockingly, you are flirting with fire - or equivalently shouting 'Fire' in that theater. Even if you reside in the U.S. - since that film may have far reaching influence beyond our borders.
"Kazuo Harai was worried. For months the Tokyo-based chief executive of Sony Corp. had been raising questions about the Hollywood studio's plans to go forward with a film depicting the assassination of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a June 23rd email a Sony Executive in Japan sent word to the studio writing that Harai 'was very much worried about this film' and its potential or angering the North Koreans."