Sony Hack: Congressman Offers to Screen 'The Interview' at the Capitol

Ed Araquel

Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said the screening would demonstrate the U.S. Congress' support for freedom of speech

Calls to screen The Interview despite threats from the hackers who attacked Sony Pictures are growing and now include members of Congress.

Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures CEO and co-chairman Michael Lynton that offered the U.S. Capitol building as a screening venue. Sherman hoped the screening would first show that Congress was in support of the freedom of speech but also educate members about issues surrounding The Interview, as he felt "it's important for Congress to know, and see, what we are talking about."

Sherman's letter also copied in Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA. 

Sherman's intervention is just the latest from politicians from both sides of the spectrum. President Obama and the Republicans have both weighed in on the controversy. In a press conference last Friday, President Obama said Sony "made a mistake" by shelving the film and that the studio execs should have "spoken to me first. I would have told them, 'Do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.' "

After Lynton said in an interview with CNN that the studio had been in contact with the White House and that the decision to pull the film was down to the theaters refusing to show it, President Obama shot back that he "might have called the movie theater chains" to smooth the release. 

The Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to the CEOs of 10 major theater chains, encouraging them to screen the controversial Sony comedy. 

The full text of Sherman's letter to Lynton is below. 

Dear Mr. Lynton

I am extending an offer to screen The Interview in the U.S. Capitol facilities.

As Chairman of the Entertainment Industries Caucus, I believe we should stand in solidarity with Sony Pictures and the American film industry. Threats from a dictator in North Korea should not stop Americans from seeing any movie. We have a responsibility to stand up against these attempts at intimidation.

This is also about educating Members of Congress. Everyone is talking about The Interview. I think it’s important for Congress to know, and see, what we are talking about.

Screening The Interview will demonstrate the U.S. Congress’s support of the freedom of speech. This is about our right to live without fear, and knowing that our values will not be compromised by the idle threats of a despotic regime. Good or bad, Americans should not be deprived of the opportunity to see this movie.

It is now the responsibility of the U.S. government to allocate the necessary resources to ensure moviegoers’ safety. We must help Sony Pictures, movie theater owners, and moviegoers regain the confidence to go see The Interview.

If you have any questions please contact Lauren Wolman at lauren.wolman@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-5911.

Sincerely,

Brad Sherman
Member of Congress 

 

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