George Clooney says everyone is a coward, Sony’s retreat is followed by a voluntary—entirely without any threat at all—move by Paramount, marks the new line in the sand for Hollywood: up where the sun don’t shine.
On Wednesday, after Sony had ripped The Interview from the hearts of our local theatres (Too much? Could be), in response to hackers’ threats of violence (right, because hackers are going to put on a shirt AND pants to go plant a bomb in a theater on their mom’s fish sticks day), a Dallas, Texas theater, belonging to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain, announced an anti-North Korean substitution, the 2004 Team America: World Police, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Even though it only satirizes the late Kim Jong-il, father of Kim Jong-un.
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That was Wednesday. On Thursday, the Texas chain (was tempted to write massacred, but it would have been wrong) announced that Paramount killed the initiative, or, as they put it, the showings were cancelled “due to circumstances beyond our control.” They offered refunds to ticket holders. Then Deadline reported that Capitol Theater, in Cleveland, tweeted that Team America “has been canceled by Paramount Pictures.”
I’ll bet you, there’s a group of overweight, badly unshaven, smelly twenty-somethings, lying on the floor in their mom’s basement, laughing so hard they’re already convulsing and foam is rolling out their gaping mouths, because they pulled the most awesome hacking job eveeer.
Still, it could be that North Korea actually has a team of well trained agents who hack during the day and sabotage movie theaters at night… no, I can’t, I can’t even write this, it’s too freaking funny.
Not too funny for son of Carry Grant George Clooney, who told Deadline:
When asked why he was helping South Korea, [President Nixon] said it was because we are the Guardians of Peace. Here, we’re talking about an actual country deciding what content we’re going to have. This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That’s the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down. Sony didn’t pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.
Ah, the lawyers. Occasionally, we must repeat the immortal bard’s line, uttered by a character named Dick The Butcher, in Henry VI, part 2: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”