Sony has pulled “The Interview.” So it’s official. We have cowered to the whim of cyber-bullies.
I know what a lot of you are about to say. “They shouldn’t have made it!” “They should’ve known better!” “Didn’t they know this would happen?”
What exactly are Seth Rogen and James Franco guilty of here? Poor judgment? Probably. Lack of foresight? Definitely. But what about this merits the threat of violence? Of committing acts of terror that apparently will rival those of 9/11, if these hackers are to be taken seriously? (For the record, I don’t.)
Seth Rogen and James Franco probably did think about these things. And I think I’m safe to assume that whatever conclusion they arrived at, they were put at ease, however subconsciously, by the idea that freedom of speech is alive and well here in America. A dumb movie about the assassination of one of the world’s most despised despots. Why not? What are they going to due, bomb us?
Except that they threatened to do just that. And we caved.
Is this what we’ve become? Are we not even allowed to see, indulge or create art without the looming threat that some lunatic SOMEWHERE will commit an atrocity because of it?
Are we really going to demonize the creators for making the film in the first place, however poor their judgment might have been in doing so? Why not condemn the despot who lacks any semblance of a sense of humor with that same fervor?
This is the free world. We get to express ourselves. Of course it’s smarter to express opinion with judicious nature and an open mind. Of course good judgment should be practiced when doing ANYTHING in this life. And regardless of how hard we try, poor judgment will always be on display. Sometimes it’s benign. Sometimes less so.
This film might have been born out of a display of poor judgment. But do the filmmakers deserved to be shamed at the expense of the people who threaten us?
We live in a society that too often shames the victim and lets the aggressor off the hook. I’ve always been aware of this of course, but the whole situation with this film being pulled and the subsequent reaction has put it in relatable terms for me.
I won’t abide by it. I don’t accept it.
James Franco and Seth Rogen made a sophomoric movie. That was their worst offense. These hackers are threatening to commit acts of violence that, if executed, will result in the deaths of innocent people. They are holding the trigger.
And we’ve let the triggermen of the hook for too long.
If this sounds like a call to arms to you, I’m glad. This is a call to arms to fight back anybody who would censor us. To anyone who would tell us to not exercise our rights to create or express our opinions, our perspectives, or tell our stories. To fight back those who would threaten us with violence for doing so.
We fight back, not with fists, or weapons, but with creation. We fight back by telling that story we want to tell, despite whatever dissuasion is thrown at us.
I’m calling for artists to draw, paint, film, act, write, and share themselves.
I’m calling for those to timid to express their opinions to do so, and always with an open mind and a willingness to hear others.
To call these people cyber-terrorists would be to legitimize there position in a way that hides how truly cowardly they are. They are cyber-bullies.
There reaction to this film is a temper tantrum. Only spoiled children throw temper tantrums.
These hackers are nothing but spoiled children. And by pulling this movie, we have appeased this same spoiled child.
You only fix a spoiled child by standing firm and by not submitting to their whims. So create your art, sophomoric or otherwise. Spoiled children be damned.