We all know that all of the controversy surrounding “The Interview, ” The Great Sony Hack of 2014, threats of violence against theaters that screened the movie and Sony’s controversial decision to pull it from wide release, all revolved around its content which mocks North Korea and its dictator. But what is not widely known is that the movie also included a scene, later axed, that depicted Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a not so flattering light either, according to Israel’s YnetNews.
While Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg did bow to pressure from Sony Pictures and re-edited a sequence in which Kim Jung Un’s head explodes, they cut out entirely a scene in which American actor Alan Blumenfeld, 62, played Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Iranian-American actor David Diaan, 52, played Palestinian leader Abbas.
In the opening of the film, James Franco, who plays TV news interviewer Dave Skylark, is seen interviewing various celebrities on his show Skylark Tonight. One sequence sees Rob Lowe, playing himself, reveal that he is actually bald taking off a toupee.
Another sequence would have shown Netanyahu and Abbas, as played by the two actors, arguing over the Middle East peace process. Franco then diffuses the situation and brings peace by having them share a meal of falafel. Since the two leaders both agree that they like the falafel Franco tells them that it is clear that they can at least agree on something.
As Blumenfeld told Ynet, “Our scene is really an add-on to the film. I think it is an idea to bring humor to a volatile situation and to propose a funny solution. The Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president can agree that they love falafel and that mutual enjoyment could lead to peace. Food brings contentment… a good message, I think.”
He added, “Well, sure I was disappointed that the scene was cut, but it made sense. The scene was not an integral part of the plot.”
Ynet did not divulge if the scene was cut for time or because the producers were afraid of another controversy giving them a headache.
The good news is that the scene was filmed and so may be released someday as part of the special features on the DVD or on line.