Commentary by James Turnage
Movies have long been at the forefront of exposing situations of immorality and injustice, and revealing crimes unreported by the media such as domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Movies have opened up our eyes to illegal and illicit actions by governments around the world, including our own. Sony Pictures’ removal of the film “The Interview,” is disappointing. It appears that Hollywood has broken a promise to the American people; they have surrendered to threats of terrorism.
This is another example of how a nation who was brave and even fearless since its inception has learned to live in fear. A major company has allowed a short, fat, and insignificant dictator to have power over its decisions, and deny free speech. Hollywood has joined the rest of the corporate world as cowardly capitalists.
The government of the United States believes the cyber-attack originated in North Korea because of the subject matter of the film; it is also investigating Iran, China, and Russia as the possible originator of the source who hacked sensitive information from Sony’s databanks.
While only a handful of Hollywood’s elite criticized Sony’s capitulation, George Clooney stood at the front. He is angry that our nation is displaying fear, and that Sony refuses to stand up to threats by a nation which is virtually isolated from the rest of the world. He exclaimed: “F*** Kim Jong-Un,” and chastised Hollywood for ‘having no balls.’
The manner in which the information was accumulated points to inside information or stolen documents from Sony’s own database. Instead of initiating an internal investigation, the motion picture giant surrendered to terrorist demands.
President Obama considers the incidents matters of national security. He promised that our government will take ‘appropriate action’ when the hacker is identified.
When terrorists are allowed to win a battle, the entire war becomes less winnable. Who will be next to yield to their demands? Actions such as Sony’s will only embolden terrorist groups to become more aggressive.
After 9/11 our nation began a new way of life; fear rules our daily lives instead or courage and optimism. Our government failed to step forward and encourage our nation’s people not to live in fear, but to have faith in their government and law enforcement. It should have emphasized the necessity for the American people to never forget what happened on that horrific day, but to live our lives normally and not allow an outside force to alter the American way of life. Instead, our government failed us. In nearly every speech by an elected official the word terrorism is used. Our 43rd president never failed to use “9/11” less than a dozen times no matter how lengthy his speech.
Now Hollywood, once considered the most progressive community in our nation, has revealed its cowardice and submission to the element of fear. Because Sony fears two things, continued theft of sensitive information, and future financial repercussions, they have failed to face the criminals and defy their threats.
The American government must lead the way to restore the meaning of our ‘National Anthem;’ we must return to being the ‘land of the free, and the home of the brave.’
By James Turnage