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Opinion: Backlash over ‘The Interview’ needs to be taken more seriously

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This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.

Aaron Sorkin at the premiere of Lionsgate's The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. November 17, 2014. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Aaron Sorkin at the premiere of Lionsgate’s The ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. November 17, 2014.
Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Sorkin compares Sony Pictures hack to leaked nude celebrity pics

Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has been highly outspoken about the recently leaked emails and employee information involving Sony Pictures. Sorkin’s original claim was that the company’s hacked emails were no different than the celebrity nude photos that leaked this past September.

I read that, and I had one thought: Are. You. Kidding. Me?

How can you even compare the two? Business emails are one thing, but naked bodies? That’s a whole new level of security breach. Leaking and posting sexually charged images of celebrities in the privacy of their own homes is heinous. It’s intrusive, it’s sickening, and it’s truly a real shame against humanity. The public was urged to avoid looking at the pictures, and for good reason! To do so would be a major violation of privacy.

I came to these conclusions rather quickly. But then I took a step back. Lines were blurring, as they often do when one comes across a double standard.

I had to ask myself: are these situations really all that different? In the midst of my introspection, in the midst of questioning these issues of morality, Aaron Sorkin made another statement comparing the Sony hacks to the nude photo leaks:

“This is the exact same situation, only worse by magnitudes.”

Worse? The Sony hacks are worse than the nude photo leaks?

Yes, yes they are. And I agree. It took some time, but I truly do see where Sorkin is coming from.

As a society, we are so incredibly quick to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. When a pretty female celebrity speaks out about her body being violated and shared with the world, we are appalled. We avoid the photos at all cost. We strip them from the Internet, we praise her bravery, and we love her more — and that’s great!

But when a faceless screenwriter speaks out about the violation of his thoughts and words — thoughts and words that were shared personally with close friends and co-workers — it’s a laughing matter. It makes headlines, and everybody is reading them. Nobody bats an eye about the gossip.

Statements made by Sorkin, as well as the countless other Sony employees whose privacy was violated, have the potential to hurt lives. Countless lives. They have the potential to ruin longstanding friendships and careers.

The content of the hacked emails was horrible — there is no question. Members of Sony Pictures have said some truly horrible things. But I have to ask, haven’t we all? If everything said behind closed doors was brought to the outside light, we’d all be in hot water.

Nobody is urging the public to avoid these stories. As I said, they are making headlines. We’re gossiping, we’re laughing while people are losing their jobs. While they’re being attacked for doing what we all do — making private jokes and laughing. Sony representatives never intended on making those statements public. And that intention is as good as not saying anything at all.

The worst part of the situation is that there isn’t anything Sony can do. They can urge the public to avoid reading the emails. They can apologize, and they can backtrack. But they shouldn’t have to. Their security was breached. They were violated.

In the words of Aaron Sorkin, “something doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong.”

Controversy over ‘The Interview’ predictable

In related news, the aforementioned Sony hackers are posing some serious threats toward the United States. If American theaters go through with showing “The Interview,” the hackers have threatened to go through with a 9/11-esque attack on the U.S.

The threat reads:“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.”

I’m sorry, but we should be taking that a little bit more seriously.

New York City has already canceled a premier of “The Interview.” The film’s stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, have cancelled all publicity appearances. But despite these small steps, “The Interview” is, as of now, still happening.

The Sony email hacks were just the first step in North Korea’s alleged retaliation. And those email hacks have already caused enough trouble. If they’re capable of breaching into the security of such a large organization, who’s to say they can’t do more.

I’m neither a doomsayer nor a conspiracy theorist, but this is scary, and I’m not about to belittle the seriousness of the possibilities.

A film whose plot revolves around an attempt to assassinate the leader of North Korea is really no different than a hypothetical film that revolves around the assassination of our own president. I know very little about the plight of North Korea, but I know enough to understand that their anger is more than justified.

“The Interview” was a stupid idea. It was a stupid, stupid, stupid idea.

Kim K finds controversy even with the most minuscule actions

Now, I hate to end on a low note, so let’s whip this around and talk about Kim K.

Kim Kardashian recently posted a selfie in which she cropped out the face of her daughter, North.

And people are raising Hell.

Kim fought back with a tweet that reads: “Her eyes were closed and I was feeling my look! Can I live?!?!”

I’m sorry, but people need to back the heck off of Kim Kardashian. You can argue that she put herself in the spotlight, sure. You can argue that she’s a talentless bimbo made famous by a sex tape. You can argue that she’s a complete bird brain.

But she’s famous. Whatever the reason and whatever the method, she got herself where she is today.

Nobody is forcing you to subscribe to the Cosmopolitan magazine Facebook posts on which you’re so rudely commenting. Nobody is forcing you to watch “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and nobody is asking for your unsubstantiated criticism.

Kim Kardashian was feeling her look. Her daughter’s eyes were closed, so she cropped her out. I honestly don’t see the big deal. It’s funny, sure, but it’s a complete Kim Kardashian move. And haven’t we all done it?

I’ve cropped my mom out of selfies. I’ve cropped out my best friend, my sister, my grandma and my dog. It’s not a big deal. Kim Kardashian still has a career. She still has a life, and I don’t think she should be expected to put her daughter at the center of every aspect of that life.

In short, nothing gives you a right to be a mean person. Mean-spirited verbal attacks are never justified. So find something better to complain about, like poverty, global warming, or Robert Pattinson’s weird hair.

4 comments

  1. I wholeheartedly disagree with the writers opinion that we should be fearful of a threat which has no merit. I find it shameful that theaters are choosing not to show “The Interview”. It shows the terrorists how little they actually have to do to manipulate us, to scare us, and to succeed in disrupting and quelling the ideas of free speech. I also disagree with the idea the “The Interview” was a stupid idea. Following that logic any movie depicting an enemy nation would therefore be stupid. So, following that logic, Red Dawn-stupid, Saving Private Ryan-stupid, Spies Like Us-stupid. I hope this fearful over-reaction does not become a trend.

  2. A film whose plot revolves around an attempt to assassinate the leader of North Korea is really no different than a hypothetical film that revolves around the assassination of our own president. It was a stupid, stupid, stupid idea.

    You don’t know much about movies, do you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_President_%282006_film%29

    And where was your outrage with Team America or Hot Shots Part Deux?

  3. The previous comments nailed it on the head

  4. “— there is no question. Members of Sony Pictures have said some truly horrible things. But I have to ask, haven’t we all? If everything said behind closed doors was brought to the outside light, we’d all be in hot water.”

    The saddest part of this entire article is the fact that you’re ok with the statement above, yes, haven’t we all made racist statements against people who think we are their “friend”. I’ve been on the receiving end of some of those racist statements when so-called friends of another color who shared their little familial stories about how grandpa “hated niggers but told us to love all kinds” and about how “my dad told my mother with her ass, she must have some monkey in her” from those so-called friends. Yes, haven’t we all made such statements that alarmingly and glaringly spotlight exactly where we are in this great society today; in retrograde. SMDH.

    Bump the stupid movie, it’s a joke altogether. The real damage in this whole violation, like you said, look at the relationships that may have suffered and may now be irreparable in the aftermath of the hacking. Truth is much more challenging than fiction, especially the whole ‘truth’ of the matter.

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