On December 27th 2014 Sony received a lot heat for the film they produced starring James Franco and Seth Rogen called The Interview. For those of you that have not heard of this film James Franco plays Dave Skylark a comedic celebrity tabloid show with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen). The two get the interview of their lives when the interview the leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un and as they prepare for their interview the CIA intervened and asked them to assassinate Kim Jong-Un. Of course this movie was going to get some heat and cause some waves but the director (Also Seth Rogen) did not know how many waves it would really cause.
So did Seth Rogen and James Franco act ethically when by releasing this film? Some say yes because its just a film and nothing more. Others say absolutely not that film was borderline an attack on North Korea’s leader and caused so many issues that this film was not worth the risk of an international incident. I personally lean towards the the group that says this was ethically wrong for them to produce. While I understand cracking a joke here and there about a dictator here and there in your film but making a film about killing the leader of a major nuclear country that we already have major international problems with then you are just asking for problems.
The thing that I am most shocked about is in an interview with The New York Times (Click on link to see the whole interview with The New York Times) Seth Rogen was asked ” was there anything the studio wouldn’t allow?” Stating “They’ve threatened war over the movie. You kill him [Kim Jong-un]. Would you consider not killing him?” Rogens reply: nope! Implying that even though this country has threatened war over this movie they were going to kill him. This also raises the issue with the ethics of Sony, this film was causing a lot of term oil and at the point where this film could cause a war you would think the executive board of Sony would say “hey maybe we should not release this or at least tone it down to not cause an international incident.” But instead of course money came first. Lucky after a lot of threats and a lot of heat from the media the film was released in certain theaters and no war was started (Thank goodness!). Was this release ethical? This will continue to be debated for years to come.