Where does one cross the line between comedy and going too far?
The infamous film, The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco was recently released; not in theatres but rather
leaked through the internet because of threats from the Korean Government.
To give a brief summary of the film, two talk show hosts adventure to North Korea to meet their huge fan, Kim Jong Un, the current North Korean leader. However, the American government has a plan for them to kill Un during their visit. Kim Jong Un is first presented as a character to sympathize with, then later made into the villain of the film. There was bonding, fighting, laughter and a lot of Katy Perry music. For those who have not seen the movie, brace yourselves, spoiler alert; Kim Jong Un dies in the end.
There is a lot of controversy over whether or not the film is just a trivial comedy or an insulting film that should be banned because of its warped portrayal of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un.
However, this warped portrayal is the practice of freedom of speech and President Barack Obama stated that not showing the film in theaters is giving “into the haters” that The Interview is a harmless comedy.
But was killing the present day leader of North Korea taking it too far?
A lot of jokes have even been made since the release of The Interview. In the film, Kim Jong Un pronounces his love for Katy Perry, as he and James Franco sing her song “Fireworks” in one of his army tanks. After her Super Bowl XLIX performance, numerous references were made about Un and his secret obsession. Michael Moroz (275) made a reference on Facebook saying, “Kim Jong Un cries silently in a corner…”, in reference to the Katy Perry performance.
The film definitely had an impact on how far comedy can go. When asked about their opinion, a teacher, who would like to be kept anonymous, stated that in America, “We have freedom of speech and therefore we cannot start setting boundaries on freedom of speech. Although other countries may not agree with this, they cannot send their foreign laws into our country.”
The opinions on this issue provoked extreme controversy and debate. Maya Love (275) admits, “it was super funny but definitely offensive… it was supposed to be, no one is supposed to take it seriously.” Some argue the film would have been less offensive if the ruler was fabricated rather than using Kim Jong Un. Mike McGinley (274) makes a valid point switching the roles to create a new perspective, stating, “The movie seems funny to us, but it’s still offensive towards North Korea. If someone made a movie about killing Obama, we would want it gone in seconds.”
Overall most will agree the film was just another satirical and stupid comedy; a plotless movie made for laughs. However, others will argue that maybe boundaries should be set on how far comedy can go.
Chelsea Tepel (275)