Yarmuth: Sony Pictures made the right call to pull 'The Interview'

12/18/2014 09:18 PM

Filmmakers and Sony Pictures knew the risk to make a movie about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, but they made the right choice to not release the film after threats of terrorism.

Yarmuth’s remarks to Pure Politics Thursday come one day after major theaters pulled the comedy due out Christmas day, leaving Sony to ultimately not distribute the film on any platform.

“I questioned their decision initially to make the movie,” Yarmuth said. “It seems to me to be something that they knew at the time they decided that there was a risk involved — they tried to negotiate with Seth Rogen and others on some of the content, so they knew there was a potential problem there.

“They probably made the smart decision to withdraw it from circulation — at least at this point. … There’s a lot of potential damage here.”

The movie, a Seth Rogen -James Franco comedy, depicted a duo of bumbling journalists who attempt to assassinate North Korea’s leader. Sony Pictures came under fire from hackers, which some have since speculated could be connected to the North Korean government.

In June a UN ambassador for North Korea called the film “an act of war.”

“I think even more so the Koreans — if in fact they were the ones responsible for the breach or the hacking of Sony’s website and data — they obviously have a great deal of power, and I think there’s more potential disruption from that kind of capability then there is worry about terrorist activity,” Yarmuth said. “I’m not as concerned as that as I am about what they can do with computer hacking.”

By making the decision at a corporate level to pull the film from distribution, Yarmuth contends that Sony kept their First Amendment rights for distribution at a later date — if they so choose.

“I certainly would have been outraged had the United States government said to Sony you need to take that out of circulation as a matter of national security. That would have been horribly offensive,” Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth said if the North Koreans are in fact behind the hack the government should openly point the finger at the country, but beyond that “we’re not going to go to war over a security breach.”

“Certainly this calls into question, again, our own defenses in the cyber area, and we need to rededicate ourselves to protecting all of those resources and repositories of information,” he said.


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