Just when I thought the debacle surrounding The Interview couldn't get any worse, THIS happens.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone's comedy classic Team America has now been banned from cinemas, just a day after Sony gave into North Korean-affiliated cyberterrorists by refusing to screen The interview. When will we stand up to this censorship madness?!
After fans' bitter disappointment at Sony's decision, many theaters stepped up to defend our right to free expression by screening Team America: World Police in lieu of Seth Rogan and James Franco's offering - it seemed like a fair trade. But it didn't take long before Paramount Pictures decided to follow in Sony's dismaying footsteps, forbidding cinemas from showing the film.
Giving in to North Korea
Three movie theaters - the Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, the Capitol Theater in Cleveland, and the Plaza Atlanta in Atlanta - had planned to show the puppeteering political parody, but they now say the film's distributer has ordered them to cancel:
Apparently, no reason for the restriction was offered by Paramount, though given the fact the movie pokes fun at Kim Jong Il by having him famously sing "I'm so ronery," we can safely assume they've cowardly buckled to North Korean pressure.
When Team America was originally released in 2004, North Korea demanded that Czech Republic ban it, with one Korean diplomat stating:
It harms the image of our country. Such behavior is not part of our country's political culture.
Thankfully, back then the film industry did not bend to the secretive state's will. But today it's a different story, with Hollywood studios rushing left and right to suppress any potentially offensive content.
The Terrorist's Demands
The Interview recently sparked massive controversy around the world, prompting the unpredictable, nuclear-armed nation North Korea to threaten a “resolute and merciless response” to what they view as an "act of war."
Appalled by the movie's content, a cyber-terrorist group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace issued Sony a threat, declaring:
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. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY.
Sony took extreme action by canceling the film's New York premier and pulling the film from all US cinemas, costing them over $40 million in losses.
Well, I may not be able to watch The Interview, but I've still got my Blu-ray copy of Team America! Viewing party at my place?