The Republican National Committee is urging theater owners to play the “The Interview” following Sony’s decision to pull the plug on the controversial comedy, CNN reports.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus has sent a letter to the CEOs of 10 major theater chains asking them to show the film, which has been the source of hackers’ wrath in the last month.
“I want to speak clearly on behalf of the Republican Party: I urge you to show the movie,” Priebus wrote to the CEOs, according to CNN. “As a sign of my commitment, if you agree to show this movie, I will send a note to the Republican Party’s millions of donors and supporters urging them to buy a ticket — not to support one movie or Hollywood, but to show North Korea we cannot be bullied into giving up our freedom.”
On Friday, President Barack Obama declared that Sony “made a mistake” in cancelling “The Interview’s” release.
“I wish they had spoken to me first. … We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship,” Obama said at a news conference, referring to Sony execs. His speech has since been praised by conservative political pundits.
Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton has defended the studio’s decision, insisting that they “had no choice” but to cancel the Christmas release following hackers’ threats of 9/11-like violence that forced theaters to pull the film.
“We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered,” Lynton told CNN in an interview that will air on “AC360” on Sunday.
The RNC letter also said that a foreign regime — referring to North Korea, which the FBI has linked to the cyber-attacks — shouldn’t “dictate the movies we can and cannot watch.”
“As you know, the Republican Party and Hollywood have at times been at odds,” the letter continued. “But we can all agree that the current situation regarding the release of ‘The Interview’ goes far beyond politics. It is about freedom and free enterprise.”