BY MARIA NEELY
America, the land of democracy, fears the word “censorship” more than anything. After all, America’s intrinsic values are based on the idea of freedom of press, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
By becoming the world’s first self-appointed censorship police, North Korea obliterated one of America’s most cherished pastimes: movies. As SONY employees logged onto their computers on November 24, a sinister red skull appeared on the screen, warning the employees that the computers had been hacked by the elusive Guardians of Peace. Personal emails of SONY top executives were leaked, which contained comments involving racial slurs about Obama, and blasphemy about Hollywood’s most famous stars. Immediately, suspicions were pointed at North Korea.
How was a silly movie the cause of such international dispute?
“The Interview”, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is about two talk show hosts and their attempt to assassinate North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un.
It was a shoo-in for the comedy of the year, as America was anxious to laugh at the ridiculous notion of two bumbling idiots dabbling in the art of “taking out” the infamous world leader. However, the feeling was not reciprocated. North Korea had released disgusted statements before the attack, and after the attack, North Korea denied being involved in the hack but stated the hack was a “righteous deed.”
The hack evolved into a threat on the American public, stating, “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”
This prompted movie theaters nationwide to refuse to play the movie, and the following day, SONY made the executive decision to pull the movie. It was later discovered that it was indeed North Korea behind the attacks. The question if the movie will be released at a later date is yet to be determined.
First North Korea, then Hollywood; it seems Kim Jong Un is on the fast track to become the dictator of the world. He has egotistically decided to impose his ideals onto the United States with seemingly no consequences. It’s scary that at the click of a button, SONY’s deepest and darkest secrets were at Kim Jong Un’s fingertips. But it’s even scarier that North Korea could so easily blackmail the United States to submit to their demands. This crisis is not simply about a movie’s termination, but the notion of North Korea censoring America, one of the most anti-censorship countries in the world.