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Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moviegoers from all walks of life have been stopped dead in their tracks by Sony’s decision to drop the sociopolitical football that is  “The Interview” from its schedule, due to mounting pressures from external forces.  

Just days after the film’s co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco bowed out of making any more public appearances for the film, the besieged studio packed it in as well, shelving a satirical romp that has purportedly deeply offended supporters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The stunning case of self-censorship unleashed a cacophony of analyses from instapundits.  

"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers," studio executives relayed in a statement cited by The Hollywood Reporter .  

Cue react, from politician and private citizen alike.  

Idealists pleaded for the opportunity to exercise free will.

Hard-liners lobbied for a socialist-style online viewing party. The patriotic urged equally outraged citizens to march directly into theaters. Pragmatists worried about the chilling effect on freedom of expression. Aggressors celebrated via intensified saber rattling. Nationalists demanded unwavering leadership. The previously oppressed re-upped on personal commitments to never again suffer silently. Opportunists brainstormed ways to capitalize on the terror threat. Technophiles tried thinking outside the (X)box. Others embraced the surreality of it all. One would-be archivist attempted to take the long view. Some remained focused on the here and now. A few wondered why foreign agitators couldn’t use their disruptive talents for the benefit of all mankind. Meanwhile, the most cynical warned that the anticipated fallout is already too much to bear. In Trey Parker and Matt Stone, we trust.  

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