On Wednesday, news broke that Sony Pictures Entertainment was canceling the theatrical release of The Interview. The move came as the result of a cyber attack against the studio and violent threats against cineplexes that intended to screen the film. The following day, at Thursday’s inaugural People Magazine Awards, Entertainment Weekly asked those in attendance their opinions on the matter.
The issue is, of course, complicated. On one hand, while the film’s subject matter is controversial—it centers on an assassination attempt against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un—filmmakers have the right to free speech. On the other hand, the threats against cineplexes, and in effect movie goers planning to attend, brought up major safety concerns. Reactions on the carpet were, in a word, mixed.
Amber Rose, actress, model, singer, and personality, fell in the latter camp. “I think they made the right choice,” she said. “You know what I mean? You’d rather be safe than sorry.”
Billy Eichner, Breakout Star of the Year winner known for Billy On The Street and Parks and Recreation, felt quite the opposite. “I wish they hadn’t pulled the movie. As someone in comedy who does a lot of irreverent, edgy comedy, that makes me a little nervous,” Eichner said. “Where do you draw the line after that?”
Ryan Guzman, who stars opposite Jennifer Lopez in January’s The Boy Next Door, fell somewhere in between, appearing to want more details before really committing to an opinion. “I would love to see the actual film and see what was missing and see if it was actually harmful to America, and the safety of Americans,” he said. “To me, I think movies are movies. We exaggerate a lot of things on film.”
However anyone feels about it, the decision to pull The Interview from theaters has been made. The question that remains: How should Sony move forward with the film, if at all, and as a company? Again, responses were varied.
Rose said that Sony should leave the film behind and move on. “Sony is such a big company. I think they’ll be fine. I think that they’ll learn from this and hopefully it won’t happen again. Just take it as a loss and keep moving.”
Guzman was, again, in the middle. “I think it’s all about timing right now, figuring out, what is the safest avenue for this movie to come out. I love Seth Rogen and James Franco. They make me cry laughing, so I would love to see what they had in the film.”
Eichner won’t let it go so easily. He’d still like to see the film, just through a different medium. “At the very least, I think they should find a platform in which to release it. All we have now are platforms to release things, so why not put it on Netflix and let people see it? I’m a friend of Seth’s. I haven’t seen the movie and I want to see it.”
Whatever move Sony makes next, Eichner has a backup in mind. After joking that the studio won’t recover, Eichner quipped: “I think they should go back to compact disc players. I had a Sony cd player when I was a kid. Worked like a charm. I think they should refocus on that.”