This is why we can’t have nice things when people give into terrorism. Terrorism wants us to be afraid, and fear causes people to make bad decisions. Movie theaters—places where people are already reluctant to go for a variety of reasons—pulled The Interview following non-credible threats from the cyber-terrorists who attacked Sony. Sony subsequently canceled the film’s release, and after slightly mulling over a VOD release, decided against it with no further plans for release (passing on VOD may have been a way to collect on the insurance). These are bad decisions that can set a dangerous precedent and ramifications. We already saw a glimpse of it yesterday with New Regency canceling the Gore Verbinski comedy Pyongyang.
The Alamo Drafthouse responded to being unable to show The Interview by making the good decision to show another comedy that poked fun at North Korea, Team America: World Police, a film that holds up on its own merits, not just because it’s become timely. But now Paramount Pictures is shutting down screenings; screenings that would tell terrorists, “We will not let you control what we are and aren’t allowed to watch. We don’t live in your shithole country.” Hit the jump for more.
Yesterday, the Alamo Drafthouse Dallas/Fort Worth location scheduled Team America: World Police, but now they’ve tweeted that the screening set for December 27th has been canceled:
Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today.
— Alamo Drafthouse DFW (@AlamoDFW) December 18, 2014
This isn’t just contained to the Alamo Drafthouse DFW, which is part of the Drafthouse chain of theaters. The Plaza Atlanta is an independently owned theater, and they were also planning to show Team America, but that screening has been canceled by Paramount as well along with the one set for the Capitol Theater in Cleveland, Ohio:
Breaking Plaza news : Team America World Police pulled from all theatres as per Paramount Pictures .
— Plaza Atlanta (@PlazaAtlanta) December 18, 2014
Please note: Our Late Shift screening of Team America: World Police has been canceled by Paramount Pictures. pic.twitter.com/TlPVzIeICW
— Capitol Theatre (@CapitolW65th) December 18, 2014
This is the domino effect. The terrorists didn’t directly threaten Paramount, the company that owns Team America. In fear, you do the terrorists’ work for them. You overcompensate so that you can prepare for an attack that hasn’t even been mentioned let alone one that’s remotely credible. And helping these terrorists engage in censorship is a bad decision.