Where does freedom of speech begin to threaten societies?
One of the most controversial topics ringing in the new year revolved around a Hollywood film, The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. The film, spoiler alert, is about an interview between an entertainment show host, (Franco), and North Korean totalitarian leader Kim Jong Un. Franco and Rogen, soon after getting the offer to interview Kim Jong Un, are approached by the U.S. government, who want them to assassinate the leader of North Korea.
Upon hearing about the movie, one might imagine that North Korea would not have a positive response.
The film portrays Un as a flamboyant playboy of sorts, running a country that appears to the outside world as successful, but in reality is full of starving, fearful, and deprived citizens.
In reality, it is well known fact that North Koreans do live in fear and ignorance, taught only what their government wants them to know. Concentration camps do exist, and Kim Jong Un holds a totalitarian dictatorship that many outside countries see as threatening and alarming.
North Korea’s response to the film was the major hacking of Sony, resulting in a large amount of private information being leaked to the public. Along with the invasion of privacy, threats had been made to theaters running said film.
In America, one of the most fundamental rights held is the freedom of speech. Americans are free to criticize whatever they please, be it something as small as school lunches to the way that certain countries are ran.
Due to this, the controversial film ran in various theaters around the U.S. and was available online for purchase. It now is also on Netflix for free streaming for members.
The movie was a comedy, and while it did make strong commentary against North Korea, it was created for entertainment, earning itself a mere 52 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.
The film was full of crude humor, over exaggerated characters, and the wild plotline that tends to come with that type of comedy. While it revolved around a nation that is looked at with serious criticism and uncertainty, the film overall felt lighthearted. Was it worth the controversy? That’s debatable.