Hollywood has experienced a hellacious week due to the hack attack on Sony that led to The Interview being pulled completely from theaters. Smaller theaters planned to replace the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy about an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un with another satirical shot at North Korea: Team America: World Police. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures has caved and will not allow the movie to be shown.
The handful of small theaters made the announcement over Twitter and promised to refund money from any ticket pre-sells.
Breaking Plaza news : Team America World Police pulled from all theatres as per Paramount Pictures.
— Plaza Atlanta (@PlazaAtlanta) December 18, 2014
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
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
Did Paramount receive threat over plans to show Team America? The studio has not made a statement yet, and attempts to gain one by the Hollywood Reporter and Gizmodo have been met with silence. Plaza Atlanta President Mike Furlinger told the Hollywood Reporter that he contacted Paramount Thursday about showing Team America after requests from moviegoers. However, he was told today that the film was “out of service.”
Gizmodo pulled no punches by calling Paramount’s move a “staggering act of cowardice.”
“Terrorist threats are no laughing matter, of course, but the Department of Homeland Security has found no credible threat and evidence that the Guardians of Peace have any sort of manpower that could do anything within the boundaries of the United States (much less at thousands of locations simultaneously) is practically non-existent. This sort of panicked cowardice would be laughably absurd if it wasn’t so d**n sad.”
The United States government is reportedly weighing a “range of options” to respond to the hack of Sony by the Guardians of Peace, the group that has taken responsibility for the hack attack and terrorist threats against The Interview. The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. officials have accused North Korea as being responsible for the attack, though no such announcement has come publicly. However, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that a “proportional” response was being considered.
What do you think of the decision by Paramount to not allow Team America to be shown? Was it an act of cowardice, as Gizmodo alleges, or a prudent move? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures]