A victory for opponents of free speech

Sony’s decision to pull U.S. film The Interview from distribution after threats underlines the continuing trend of failure to protect artistic freedom of expression.

“Clearly this sets an example for other anonymous groups to put a curb on artistic expression through threats. This opens the door for anyone to level a threat against artistic works that they don’t agree with or find distasteful,” Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship magazine said.

Sony’s decision to postpone the film on the basis of public safety follows what the company calls an “unprecedented” assault by hackers on its business and employees. The film’s derailing comes as the main North American theatre chains halted plans to show the release amid hackers’ warnings to the public to stay away.

“Sony should take steps to stand up for the free expression of its filmmakers by reconsidering its decision or releasing the film online,” Jolley said.