A California Democrat has formally invited Sony Pictures to screen The Interview on Capitol Hill.
Sony made a last-minute decision to offer limited release of the Seth Rogan and James Franco film that sparked a hack attack from North Korea. Rep. Brad Sherman told CNN yesterday that he may not get to see the movie on opening day, but thinks it should be screened at the White House and for Congress.
In a Monday letter to the studio, Sherman, who represents the San Fernando Valley and chairs the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus, said lawmakers 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,” Sherman wrote. “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 film on Capitol Hill would “demonstrate the U.S. Congress’s support of the freedom of speech,” the congressman added. “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.”
Sherman is advocating North Korea receive a “double dose of free speech” by doubling up Voice of America broadcasting to the reclusive communist country.
“Currently Radio Free Asia and Voice of America reach North Koreans eleven hours each night, at a cost to American taxpayers of $8 million annually (or roughly one tenth of what it cost Sony to make and advertise The Interview). We should ramp this up to $16 million,” Sherman said in a statement.
“Dictators like Kim Jong-un fear nothing as much as the truth and it is time to bring a maximum supply of truth both to the North Korean people, and to the elites which form the core of the regime’s support,” he said. “We also maintain websites aimed at North Korea, but we do not provide television broadcasts. Our web efforts should be aimed at undermining Kim Jong-un among these elites, who have internet access.”
A Dec. 8 report from the Broadcasting Board of Governors showed that current streaming falls short of the 12 hours per day goal, but Sherman said that goal should be 24 hours a day.
“The Broadcasting Board of Governors is seeking to construct its own medium wave transmitter in South Korea at a location optimally suited to reach the North Korean people. This effort should be funded and expedited,” Sherman added.
“We should explore using satellite television broadcasting. If television broadcasting into North Korea is practical, then later next year we should broadcast The Interview dubbed in Korean.”