The Interview

I know I have been spotty blogging lately with the holidays. I promise I will work on that! Once schedules get back to normal I will be back to my regular blogging schedule. Now on to the post…

The Interview. Now I debated about writing on this topic. Clearly it is extremely controversial and I don’t want to stir up any unwanted negativity. But I think it is a precedent setting event that is worth talking about. As a writer (if blogging counts as writing) I find that free speech is an important thing to protect. I understand that free speech only protects us from Government censorship but I think the spirit of it can be found in this.

For those who don’t know (were you living under a rock?) The Interview is a movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen and depicts the fictional assassination of Koren dictator Kim Jung- Un. The movie is meant to be a light-hearted comedy. But the hackers who got into Sony’s database did not take it that way.

The hackers got in to many of Sony’s personal files. Leaked them. And then threatened a “9/11 style attack” for any theaters that released the movie on Christmas day. This panic caused all theaters to pull the movie. Eventually smaller indie theaters took the movie back and it was released on Christmas in smaller theaters and online.

But what kind of message does this send? That we will back down from threats from other countries? That is a very dangerous precedent to set.

I have heard a lot of arguments that the making of the movie was irresponsible. And while that may be true ( I have not yet seen it) the movie should have been pulled before it was even created if that was the case. Since the movie made it to release it should have been released. That is the end of it. Regardless if it is an awful movie it passed all screenings up until release so it should have been released.

Pulling it because of threats shows other countries that we will bend to them if they threaten us. How do we know in which way they will use that on us next? We can not show a weakness in this type of scenario.

Should we be careful what type of content our movies depict, sure. But this is America and even bad movies have a right to be shown.

What do you bloggers think? Have any of you actually seen it?


A Little Rant to Explain Freedom of Speech

As you know every once in awhile a story comes across social media and every other news outlet and it forces me to abandon my blog schedule. This is one of those stories. I am sure by now all of you have heard about the Phil Robertson vs A & E debacle. For those of you who have not let me take a minute to fill you in.

In an interview with GQ Phil discussed his religious beliefs and while doing that he made some anti gay comments. One of the more spread around comments I have seen is:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” Phil says. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Because of these comments, A & E decided to suspend him from returning to his reality show Duck Dynasty. I have learned since this whole thing happened that apparently Duck Dynasty is one of the highest rated reality T.V shows and this Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the family. Now before I continue with this I will openly say that I have not seen the show and I would not miss him because I am not a show supporter but I do understand why die hard fans would be upset by this.

That being said. The uproar on the social media networks have infuriated me beyond belief. All I keep reading is “this is unfair. we need to protect his freedom of speech.” So I would like to take the opportunity to clarify exactly what freedom of speech is just for those who might be confused. Freedom of speech means you can say anything you would like to say without CRIMINAL ramifications. From my understanding that has held true in this case. No one is pressing charges. However, an employer has the right to suspend, punish or even fire someone if they represent the company in a light that they do not agree with.

For example, I remember when working in Disney we could get fired for simply not smiling while in uniform. This was not an illegal act. Plenty of people don’t smile day to day. But the Disney image was to be the happiest place on earth and Disney had the right to protect their image in any way they see fit.

Same goes here for A & E. If they do not want to tolerate remarks they feel are slanderous they have every right to take the action they see fit.

From my understanding Phil has gotten so much support from his fans that he will be reinstated to the show soon so all fans take heart, your show will go on. But please remember everyone has the right to their opinion but the employers also have the right to protect their image in any way they see fit. Before we jump on the network maybe we should commend them for sticking true to their belief system just like Phil stuck true to his own.

On that note hopefully we can all have a great holiday season with a little more clarity and a little less hate. Merry Christmas bloggers!