Do you think that American movie cinemas should have cancelled the movie The Interview based on threats from North Korea? Do you think the threats constitute attempted social control by North...

Do you think that American movie cinemas should have cancelled the movie The Interview based on threats from North Korea? Do you think the threats constitute attempted social control by North Korea? If you answered yes, then please state how it could be considered social control. If you answered no, then please state why it should not be considered social control.


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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the end, I think that assessing if American movie cinemas should have cancelled their viewing of The Interview.   The argument supporting the cancellation would suggest that public safety should not be sacrificed and that the threats had to be taken seriously.  However, I thought that the President spoke rather well on the subject, when he said that "we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression."  It seems very unlikely that a terrorist attack could have been coordinated on every theatre showing the film.  If every theatre stood firm and unified in their position to show the film, a resounding statement about freedom of expression would have been evident.  Whenever freedom is threatened, capitulating to fear takes away from a commitment to it.  For example, in the wake of the events of September 11, favoring restriction of freedom out of fear of public safety demonstrated a decreased commitment to ideals that helped to found the nation.  I believe that there is a parallel to this situation with The Interview.  Potential fear of terrorist threats and the acquiescence to them reduce a commitment to freedoms that are essential to the definition of American identity.

In another issue, I do think it is possible for an individual to defend themselves in court.  Representing oneself pro se is a reality in the American legal system. State court estimates show "an increasing proportion of pro se litigants."  I think that any nuanced profession such as law would provide formidable for the average person to gain full insight.  At the point in which an individual commits themselves to understanding the full nature and diverse conditions within the law, I think that they cease to be seen as an "average" person.  However, this does not preclude the possibility for individuals to defend themselves in court. This intricacy and nuanced nature should be reflected in the preparation for the bar exam, an assessment designed to embrace the complexity of the legal system.  One can only hope that law schools have come to recognize this, fusing both their learned approach to the education of the system as well as preparation for the bar exam.  The curriculum is guided by the assessment.  However, given the complexity of the field, it stands to reason that schools can determine different curricular paths to meet the goal of preparation for the exam.

alexb2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think screenings should've been cancelled because the threat was not credible. On the heels of a devastating cyber attack I can see why Sony and its subsidiaries and partners would be nervous about the film, but the evidence as it's been presented so far does not show a credible threat. 

An attack on American soil by North Korea would be a direct act of war, and so far North Korea has shown no inclination or desire to engage in any direct warfare. While some have doubted that North Korea was behind the attacks, the FBI recently released information they said shows that hackers based in the secretive country were involved. 

That said, others have speculated that multiple groups were involved in both the threats and the hacking. So in my opinion the film should not have been cancelled. It both sets a dangerous precedent, and wasn't based on credible enough threats.