SONY Pictures Doing with ‘The Interview’ what Actress in ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Not Allowed to do

In the same week that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court began hearing arguments in the Garcia vs. Google, SONY Pictures decided not to release The Interview, a very unserious movie about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The decision by SONY was made in the wake of hacked employee emails and a threat to bomb theaters showing the movie.


The New York Post’s Kyle Smith puts it this way:

After a single random online threat from an anonymous source the Department of Homeland Security finds not particularly credible — a source that, for all we know, could be a group of basement-dwelling pranksters trying to sound like North Koreans — Sony pulled “The Interview.”

Conversely, an actress who appeared in the “Innocence of Muslims” video the Obama administration blamed for the Benghazi attacks is suing Google for its refusal to take the video down from YouTube. In February, a three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit ruled in her favor; Google had to take down the video.

This week, the full court is hearing arguments before delivering a more comprehensive ruling. Amicus briefs have been filed by several large companies on par with SONY. They include Netflix, Facebook, and twitter which are all supporting Google’s desire to keep the video up on YouTube.

Claims abound that SONY gave in to North Korea, which has apparently been successful at intimidating the picture company into not showing the movie.

Hollywood actor Rob Lowe tweeted about his disgust for SONY’s decision:

Some might say SONY is doing via The Interview what Google did not do willingly with Innocence of Muslims – cave.

Indications are that it’s nowhere near that simple. At the heart of Garcia’s case is her contention that she was intentionally deceived by filmmaker and convicted felon Nakoula Basseley Nakoula after she answered a casting call for a role in a film identified as Desert Warrior. Garcia insists that she was never told that her five second appearance in the video would actually be part of an anti-Islamic video and that the incendiary words which ultimately came out of her mouth in the video weren’t hers; they were dubbed in later during post-production.

Nakoula: Also being sued by Garcia

Nakoula: Also being sued by Garcia

It was this deception that is at the root of Garcia’s lawsuit against Google. She wants the video taken down from YouTube permanently; she has also received death threats and has had a fatwa put on her.

Contrast that with a portion of a statement released by SONY Pictures about the decision not to release The Interview:

“Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like.”

SONY decided not to release the movie because of threats to unidentified employees and its business. Garcia personally received threats as a direct result of something she did not agree to be a part of while simultaneously being deceived.

If SONY Pictures were consistent, perhaps an Amicus Brief in support of Garcia is in order. A victory for Google would put Garcia in nearly the exact same position – against her will – that SONY willingly placed itself in, with one major difference. SONY was able to withdraw its product from the market while Garcia will have had no such say.

A victory for Garcia will mean that The Interview and Innocence of Muslims will have both been withheld from public viewing in part, due to intimidation – either direct or indirect.

As has long maintained, the person to investigate is Nakoula. At the time the video was produced, Nakoula was suspiciously a federal informant and as reported, some evidence exists that suggests there could have bee some level of collaboration between Nakoula and the Obama administration.

Garcia: Suing Google.

Garcia: Suing Google.

Any such involvement could have had something to do with the “Istanbul Process” (IP), which is the top priority of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The goal of IP is to pressure non-Muslim countries into criminalizing any and all criticism of Islam, as has reported.

While North Korea is not a Muslim nation and neither is it a member of the OIC, SONY’s decision not to release The Interview as a result of a perceived threat or pressure from North Korea is exactly how the “Istanbul Process” is designed to be achieved.

SONY is caving; Garcia is not. SONY is much bigger than Garcia. SONY made a movie and then pulled it voluntarily. Garcia agreed to be part of a particular movie, was deceived and now is demanding that it be pulled on copyright grounds.

As for the State Department’s views on comparing the two videos…

At the State Department earlier today, Jen Psaki said department officials did meet with studio executives during production, as revealed in leaked emails, but disputed reports that they OK’d the picture. “We’re not in the business of signing off on content of movies or things along those lines,” she said.

“I can confirm for you that [Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel] Russel did have a conversation with Sony executives, as he does routinely with a wide range of private groups and individuals, to discuss foreign policy in Asia,” Psaki said. “[Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues] Bob King, contrary to reports, did not view the movie and did not have any contact directly with Sony.”

“As we have — as we’ve noted before, entertainers are free to make movies of their choosing, and we are not involved in that,” she added.

Psaki said she wouldn’t compare the comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong-un to the Mohammed film initially blamed for the Benghazi attack, a movie heavily criticized by the State Department.

“I would not put them in the same category, which I’m sure does not surprise you,” Psaki said. “We don’t have — it’s a fiction movie. It’s not a documentary about our relationship with the United — with North Korea. It’s not something we backed, supported or necessarily have an opinion on from here.”

Aside from Psaki offering no real coherent answer to the question, one of the similarities between The Interview and Innocence of Muslims is that in both cases, the Obama administration found itself in the position of having to deny involvement.


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