Update: To protest against the attack on freedom of expression that the threats against screenings of The Interview represents, Secret Cinema is staging special one-off Secret Screenings on Sunday 21 December, with all proceeds from the show going to ARTICLE 19.
ARTICLE 19 have released this statement following Sony Pictures’ decision to cancel the release of The Interview, a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korea’s leader. The cancellation comes after the hacking of Sony’s computer system, and the decision by major movie theatre groups to cancel screenings in the US and Canada.
Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, said:
“In a country which prides itself on its artistic contribution to the world, and where free speech is strongly protected in the constitution, this is an alarming decision. It is nothing more than a compromise of the media’s freedom of expression and sets a dangerous precedent for censorship.
“It is the artist’s role to challenge and provoke, sometimes in a way that may offend, but artistic expression must be protected.
“This decision will only encourage others to make anonymous threats to try and curb free speech and artistic expression. We call on the international community to clearly denounce the threats and ask Sony and cinema chains in North America, such as Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Theatres, to reconsider their decisions, thereby sending a message that threats like these will not work and free expression is an inalienable right.”