Films Too Dangerous to Screen?

The Sony hack attack continues to cause mayhem, leading to the studio decision not to release the movie The Interview in the face of threats of violence toward any theaters that screened it.  I vehemently oppose censorship, but I understand the need to protect the public. I just hope that this doesn't motivate other extremists to try similar tactics when they disagree with the expression of others.  Threats of violence should never be tolerated, but at the same time we live in a world in which not every culture shares the same ideals of freedom of speech.

We've seen governments ban certain motion pictures in the past when their subject matter was deemed inappropriate.  We've seen artists withdraw their movies after controversy, such as Stanley Kubrick did with A Clockwork Orange in the United Kingdom after crimes allegedly inspired by the film.

We've seen protests demanding that certain flicks not be seen, such as Last Temptation of Christ. Often such outcry creates greater demand.  I've always argued that people should see a movie, read a book, watch a play, listen to a song, and judge for themselves.  I believe in the free marketplace of ideas in which people debate topics and learn from different points of view.

When I first heard of the Sony hack a few weeks ago, I thought it might possibly be a prank by star James Franco to draw attention to the film, but then it became serious when the hackers threatened Sony employees and their families. With recent developments, it became clear that this was no joke.

I hope those responsible are identified and such security breaches do not happen again.  I also pray that, beyond the embarrassment and stress this has caused to Sony, no one is hurt further.

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