Much to the dismay of moviegoers in the United States, it has emerged that the screenings of Seth Rogen’s action-comedy The Interview are being cancelled amid threats of 9/11-like attacks on theaters.
Movie lovers in America may feel bad about the possibility of not getting to watch the flick, but Kim Jong Un, who’d rather not watch since it focuses on a plot of his assassination by the CIA, will get unwanted DVDs of the movie anyway – thanks to a bunch of activists in South Korea.
The Sony Pictures hack didn’t have any severe consequences ever since it began four weeks ago. But all of that changed on Tuesday.
A group of hackers who go by the name of “Guardians of Peace” (GOP) stole thousands of gigabytes of data in November and leaked it on the Internet for everyone to see. Though it was initially alleged that the troublemakers probably belonged to North Korea and the cyber attack was a backlash to The Interview, those rumors were soon discarded after the hermit kingdom denied any involvement in it.
More personal emails were leaked in the days that followed and people took most of it in jest.
However, things took an ugly turn this week when the so-called GOP threatened moviegoers with 9/11-inspired attacks at cinemas showing the film and urged audiences to stay away "or be doomed".
While the Department of Homeland Security said there was "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters," it cannot be completely disregarded.
The warning has prompted law-enforcement and cinema chains to ramp up security as well as cancel showings of the now controversial movie. Carmike Cinemas, which operates 247 theaters across the country, was reportedly the first to cancel its planned showings.
Even Sony has officially permitted movie exhibitors to pull The Interview from theaters if they want to.
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The recent threats have reignited rumors of North Korean involvement in the Sony hack and Fighters for a Free North Korea, a group funded by New York’s Human Rights Foundation is planning to airdrop DVDs of The Interview into North Korea when it becomes available, using specially designed hydrogen balloons.
This won’t be the first time this organization will send illegal materials into North Korea. It has been airdropping things banned by Pyongyang – including political leaflets, transistor radios, flash drives, posters of Angelina Jolie, and DVDs of Hollywood movies from South Korea for years.
“Viewing any one of these is a subversive act that could get you executed,” Thor Halvorssen, president of the HRF, stated in an interview. “And The Interview is tremendously threatening to the Kims. They cannot abide by anything that portrays them as anything other than a god. This movie destroys the narrative.”
Looks like Kim Jong Un is in for a surprise next year. Let’s just hope he doesn’t threaten the world with yet another nuclear missile test over it.