Based solely off Twitter, my initial understanding of the drama surrounding The Interview was this:
- Kim Jong Un was offended by Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview and so North Korea threatened to blow up American theaters that played the movie.
- Sony cancelled the release.
- Then they made it available online.
- Every patriotic American’s duty was to watch the movie because America. It ended up doing pretty well.
- Also, something about how Sony’s emails got hacked.
In real life, this is what happened:
- In November, Sony’s computers were hacked; North Korea claimed they were not responsible for the attack, although they did say they support it. Many confidential and embarrassing emails containing sensitive information about celebrities were released.
- The hacker group, “Guardians of the Peace”, claimed responsibility for the attack and demanded that The Interview be cancelled. The group said, “We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places The Interview be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave. Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce SONY.”
- Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, Cineplex, AMC Entertainment, and other major movie chains decided not to show the movie. President Obama and other notable figures denounced the cancellation; the president called it “a mistake”. He claimed that producers should “Not get into a pattern where you are intimidated by these acts.”
- The FBI believed that North Korea was behind the hack, despite North Korea’s denial of involvement.
- North Korea suffered an unexpected and unexplained internet outage on the 22nd of December. They blamed the US for the attack, and even went so far as calling President Obama a “monkey”.
- Sony reversed their previous decision and the Interview opened with limited releases in select theaters on Christmas day. They also made the movie available to rent or buy online. Although the movie received mixed reviews, it earned $40 million in digital sales and over $6 million in the theaters.
Did you go see The Interview, Smart Girls? What did you think? Was your understanding of the event impacted by social media? Did you hear about it first on Twitter or Facebook?