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Please release "The Interview" and stop letting terrorists decide which movies Americans get to see

This petition had 1,860 supporters

Here's the deal. We fancy ourselves a free society. As such, we are allowed to make and watch movies about anyone we damn well please, even if those movies offend dictators and barbarians.

When Sony and the major theater groups declined to release "The Interview" because hackers threatened us and told them not to, they literally negotiated with terrorists. And, as even a cursory knowledge of modern American cinema would tell you, negotiating with terrorists is bad. It emboldens terrorists to do more terrorism. History also happens to be replete with examples.

Once you let bad guys dictate which movies the American public is allowed to see, we are less free than we once were and we are no more safe for that loss. You don't need a government to censor you if you're willing to do it yourself. Already, the chilling effect of caving to North Korea's objections is depriving us of future entertainment, as New Regency shelved a Steve Carell project about North Korea called "Pyongyang."

Jimmy Kimmel may have said it best when he called self-censorship, "an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent." Every thug and illiberal regime in the world now knows exactly what to do to shut up its critics and shut down art that mocks them and shines a light on their abuses. It's in your power to revoke that road map by reinstating "The Interview."

It would be good for art, for free people, oppressed people, and America if you did just that.

America is not a perfect nation. But it is a nation whose people value free and raucous speech, the idea being that the freedom to have messy fights about even our imperfections allows us the possibility to be better. Also, it's fun. Totalitarian regimes, of course, value neither progress nor fun.

So, if something offends barbarous, totalitarian a-holes, for most Americans, that is a feature, not a bug.

Until today, I was sure we were a country that would raise our silly, stoner comedies over our heads and proclaim, "From our cold, dead hands!" I like to think we're still that country.

We will watch this movie just to piss off people who don't want us to. Because America. Also, it sounds fun. But we can only do that if you release it.

(I never imagined my first-ever petition would be to support a Seth Rogen vehicle, but as they say, "First they came for the affable Apatow acolytes and I did not speak out because I was not an affable Apatow acolyte." Or, something like that.)


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MaryKatharine Ham needs your help with “Sony: Please release "The Interview" and stop letting terrorists decide which movies Americans get to see”. Join MaryKatharine and 1,859 supporters today.