After the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010, Hollywood bigwigs, often stereotyped as liberals, adapted. In order to build clout with the new Congress to help ensure favorable legislation, the entertainment industry started moving its money to Republicans.
The Wall Street Journal chronicled this major shift last year. Now, emails from executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment, stolen in a massive data breach last year and posted in a searchable archive by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday, provide details about how the movie industry — at the direction of a Democrat, ex-Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who leads the Motion Picture Association of America — sought to quietly raise funds for Republican national party committees.
Even though the investigation into the Sony hack is incomplete, Obama decided to impose sanctions on North Korea.
I like a little cowboy diplomacy and I don’t particularly care whether North Korea did it or not (this is a regime that experiments with chemical weapons on people, whether they hacked a film studio is low down on the atrocity scale) but it seems odd coming from the guy who always warns us not to jump to conclusions when a Muslim terrorist attack happens.
Americans are the only people in the world who go to see movies in which they are the villains.
Russians stayed away from Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit with its Slavic villains (though Chinese audiences liked it well enough). And movies with Chinese villains can’t get made because the People’s Republic has more devastating penalties for offending studios than a mere hacking. Instead of leaking private emails, the studios simply aren’t allowed to release their movies in the world’s second biggest film market.
Reactions to art often tell us more about the audience than the people who made it. The movie The Interview demonstrates this so well. A quick recap for those who might not be following the issue. Seth Rogan and James Franco made a movie about assassinating the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jon Un. Being a comedy, one can assume it’s full of jokes about what rotten place that nation is. Some group called “Guardians of Peace” hacked Sony (the company that is distributing the movie) and threatened to release sensitive emails unless the film was pulled.
The movie has since been released, but before that came predictable Hollywood buckling that exposed how phony and hypocritical the film industry really is.
Nobody should be surprised that the dictatorial ruler of North Korea would want to censor a film that offended him, or even that he would feel entitled to break the law by threatening reprisals against the offenders. His actions emulate those of hard-left feminists, radical Muslims, university administrators, and others who seek to prevent the publication or distribution of material they deem offensive.
I recall an incident several years ago when radical feminists fired bullets through the windows of a Harvard Square bookstore to protest its sale of Playboy Magazine. I also recall being physically threatened by a group called “Dykes on Bikes” – a feminist motorcycle gang – for providing legal representation of alleged pornographers.
Then there is radical Islamic censorship that has become far more deadly. When some radical Muslims were offended by Theo Van Gogh’s film Submission, which exposed Islam’s demeaning views toward women, Van Gogh was murdered in cold blood and his co-producer’s life threatened by a Fatwa. Salman Rushdie had to go into hiding when a Fatwa was issued against him and his book, The Satanic Verses. The Yale University Press, fearful of threats of violence, censored the actual cartoons depicting Mohammed from a book about that subject, following violent reaction to the publication of the cartoons in Scandinavia…
Sony says it will in fact publicly release the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy ‘The Interview’ despite threats from hackers mere days after it announced the film would not in theaters for its scheduled Christmas release date.
‘Sony only delayed this,’ said company attorney David Boies on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Sony cancelled the film’s release last week after the hackers threatened real-world attacks on cinemas screening it…
The vast majority of cinema chains which were set to screen the movie pulled it after the threats.
That came after a series of embarrassing internal documents were made public, from plans for the upcoming James Bond film, to internal emails arguing over the company’s direction, to discussion of past theatrical failures.
Breitbart California editor Joel Pollack makes an excellent point. For a dictatorship that likes to use what limited resources it has to test launch missiles to intimidate its neighbors, where did Kim Jong-un get the relatively silly idea to use his dictatorial powers to target a satirical movie? Oh yeah.
Obama: Where'd you learn to intimidate filmmakers?
Kim Jong-un: From you, okay? I learned it by watching you! pic.twitter.com/qGanZqesaC
Sony’s capitulation in the face of threats by unidentified sources, who are presumed to support the odious Kim dynasty, serves to confirm what most of us have known for some time. Namely, the extent of allowable political discourse in popular culture is inextricably linked to the willingness of the objects of political criticism to violently suppress that criticism. Or, at the very least, intimate the unpleasant nature of the response in store for those willing to offer a dissenting voice. An interview the iconic Indo-British author and apostate Salman Rushdie did with Irshad Manji several years ago is worthwatching again, if only because in it Rushdie makes the ineluctable observation that with each acquiescence to the grievances of Islam-whose appetite for grievance is insatiable by its very nature-Western society weakens its resolve to stand up to less imposing gangsters and their intimations of violence. As this complete and utter surrender to a third-rate, despotic Asian reichdemonstrates.
On Thursday’s Hugh Hewitt radio show, conservative commentator Mark Steyn, author of “The Undocumented Mark Steyn,” said the actions by Sony Corporation not to face down apparent threats from North Koreans was a bad sign for the so-called power of American pop culture in its current state.
“In essence, the letter was “basically saying … ‘We’re not going to give in to a ransom,’ ” Clooney told Deadline. “As we watched one group be completely vilified, nobody stood up. Nobody took that stand.”
As far as his petition, Clooney couldn’t land a single signature.
The leaked Sony emails have illustrated what we all knew, Hollywood is populated by truly awful people, horrible liberal hypocrites deserving of their own special circle of hell.
But this episode I find puzzling, as Hollywood loves to trumpet how “brave and courageous” they are what with being the self-proclaimed guardians of civilization and all.
Are the Sony execs that hated by their peers that no one would sign on? Were potential petition signers worried that a public declaration of support would put them in the hacker’s cross-hairs?
Did George accidentally cc Kim Jong Un on the email? I just don’t know.
North Korea’s government said it had nothing to do with the hacking of Sony Corp.’s computer systems and called on the U.S. to hold a joint investigation into the incident.
North Korea can prove its innocence and warned of “grave consequences” if the U.S. fails to take up its offer, the country’s foreign ministry said in an e-mailed statement today cited by the state-run Korea Central News Agency. “As the U.S. is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation,” the ministry said.
North Korea’s rise as an international supervillain in Hollywood movies, conquering America in the Red Dawn remake and assailing the White House in Olympus Has Fallen was due to political correctness and greed.
China’s rise as both a major market for films under tight government control and as an owner of a major theater chain in the United States completed the process that began with Scorsese’s Kundun of making movies that offend China off limits.