By Rachel Tracy, For The Miami Student
"The Interview," a $44 million dollar budget movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, only made it into select theaters around the country on Christmas day due to threats from North Korea.
In this movie, celebrity tabloid show stars Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapoport book an interview with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. After finding out about this interview, the CIA recruits them to assassinate the dictator.
Sony's Internet servers were hacked by an organization called "Guardians of Peace (GOP)." This group issued a terrorist threat against any movie theaters that would run "The Interview."
The North Korean threat stated "Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism," said CNN.
The threat also stated that fighters of justice "are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world," said CNN.
Sony then gave movie theaters permission to cancel the showing of the movie. Movie theaters were concerned that showing "The Interview" would turn people away from coming to the movie theater at all, according to screenrant.com. This, is turn, would hurt the ratings of other movies in theater.
"The White House said a new executive order targets leaders in North Korea's government, preventing them from accessing property and entering the United States. The isolated nuclear regime, which has denied involvement in the Sony hack, was already subject to a strict set of U.S. economic restrictions," CNN writers Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak said in a January CNN.com article.
"I think it's concerning that Sony would back down because of threats from another country," Miami University junior Andrew DeLong said. "But the movie is hilarious."
Since the release of the movie, some celebrities have spoken out about Sony backing down to a foreign country. George Clooney tried to start a petition stating that he and whoever signed it would stand behind Sony and help them fight against the GOP. No one signed his petition, according to Dann Albright, a freelance writer and blogger.
"I personally think that the actors in the film have freedom of speech and should be able to joke about the film topic, but it created unnecessary controversy," senior film studies minor Eboni Holbrock said. "I probably won't see it because I would rather not support the film."
North Korea is currently under a United Nations vote for crimes against humanity in court. Suki Kim, a Korean American writer, said the controversy of "The Interview" may have diverted attention away from the vote, which would be good for North Korea.
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"The Interview" has produced an estimated $12 to $15 million dollars in revenue, said Albright. On IMDb.com, "The Interview" received a 7.3/10 rating, while scoring a 51 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.