Survey: Watchers Deem ‘The Interview’ ‘Culturally Insensitive’

The Interview Seth Rogen James Franco

The Interview” is not making a good first impression on those who watched the controversial movie in its first 24 hours of release, according to a new online survey conducted Thursday morning.

Seven out of 10 Americans characterized this cinematic satire of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “culturally insensitive.” Six out of 10 agreed that “The Interview” does not represent Hollywood filmmaking or American attitudes positively.

Commissioned by Variety, the quickie survey of 700 people who reported having watched the movie was conducted by celebrity brand strategist Jeetendr Sehdev.

The findings add a new dimension to the reception for a film that, prior to its Christmas Eve debut online, was receiving widespread support of its release, citing concerns over free speech.

Asked how they felt about the film on a 10-point differential scale labelled from “proud” to “ashamed,” 33% responded in the “ashamed” range of numbers.

Eight in 10 people agree that had “‘The Interview’ been a more thoughtful, and purpose-driven movie with a strong opinion towards North Korean politics, they would have been proud of the movie,” according to Sehdev.

Half of those who said they would recommend watching the movie prior to its release changed their minds after watching the movie.

Turns out becoming a symbol of freedom of expression didn’t hold up for the movie for those watched it. Half of  them would not recommend the movie, despite the associated freedom of speech message. Three in 10 Americans said they would go so far as to actively recommend others not to watch the film despite the controversy.

Not even “The Interview” stars emerged from the movie unscathed. Though controversies typically increase celebrity interest levels between 12%-31%, according to Sehdev, the audience’s willingness to engage with James Franco and Seth Rogen have fallen by 12% and 10%, respectively. Those numbers were gauged by a bigger survey from Sehdev of 2,000 respondents.

“The Interview” has received mixed reviews from critics, currently scoring a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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  1. Wait, somebody actually thought this was going to be a deep, thoughtful, entertaining film?

  2. Marcello says:

    You can’t use a velvet glove with dictators, they beg to be offended by every free human being, they deserve to be fought!
    Dictatorship is not “culture” in any way.
    Also weak thinking like this reported in this article would have not led to satire masteroieces like The Great Dictator with Chaplin.
    I’m not saying The Interview is a masterpiece but if it fails is not because of being “culturally offensive”.

  3. ThisisJune says:

    There are fun comedies and there are not so fun comedies. This movie falls under trash. Glad I saw it for free.

  4. claudia says:

    I accept a movie about the ridicoulousness of tyranny by anyone, but not seth rogen. He is a staunch supporter of the israelian cause, which is all about violence and ‘the rich win and the poor Loose” completely ignoring that noone really stands by them but have too cause they have an atomic bomb and always threaten a world war. Just like kim jung un.

  5. Chad huff says:

    Maybe watchers should stop being such pussies and realize it’s just a fucking movie. If u have a problem with it just movie on about ur life and stop crying. Or just move to North Korea. Ur choice.

  6. I couldn’t care less about “cultural insensitivity”. However for those who have a hard time with non-stop profanity (ideas as well as language) this piece of crap movie definitely is not for you.

  7. Chrinta says:

    So where was the comedy? Terrible movie.

  8. Aly hem says:

    It was never meant to be a political movie in the first place. It was only dubbed a freedom of speech issue once theaters/Sony were opting to pull the film due to “terrorist threats”. People, it was written as a comedy, comedies are meant to push the limits of what society finds “acceptable” for a humorous affect. It was funny, point blank.

  9. Dave says:

    The movie is beyond bad. It was deliberately made to provoke North Korea and in the process made us look like a bunch of hypocrites.

  10. Michael says:

    I deem it a bad movie. I’ll still defend the right for it to get released. Art, in all of its forms, should not be censored.

  11. Mr Furious says:

    They don’t care. They made their money.

  12. dsmith says:

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? After all of the free publicity it still couldn’t make people enjoy a movie that was already panned before it was canceled.

  13. Franco S says:

    Well wasn’t the best movie nothing to even do with all the nonsense that has been going on just feel like they are doing the same jokes from pineapple express and this is the end

  14. Bobby D says:

    It is a COMEDY not a political film! If you went to this movie thinking anything different you should be ashamed of yourself and not the movie!

  15. Betty Coop says:

    The funniest part of this whole debate around The Interview representing Americam values? It was directed and written by largely by Canadians. Blame Canada?

    • Jeffrey says:

      What? The greatest American patriot since Paul Revere, beloved by both Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, is really a Canadian? Congress should pass a special law to make him an American forthwith.

  16. Andrew Wallenstein probably lives in his mothers basement. He surely hates the entire world because it’s so cruel and heartless. He’s more than likely on powerful medication for severe depression and anxiety. I’ll bet he sits in his dirty underwear in the dark at his Dad’s old computer eating Cheerios out of the box. I’m sure his Mom washes his sheets on a daily basis for reasons we won’t mention. No, he doesn’t have a favorite joke and he would think having a pet is the same as kidnapping and slavery.

  17. Jan Biddeford says:

    After watching the movie in it’s entirety the only credible thing to do is for the US Government to investigate this whole international incident and go after SONY…………

    Embarassing and hideous……….Franco and Rogen perpetrated a huge international crime and deserve to be labeled terrorists.

    • insjmb says:

      International crime? It’s a comedy, it’s meant to be a joke vs. the propaganda film North Korea produced and released earlier this year in which their air force drops a nuclear war head on New York City while “We are the world” plays in the background. That was meant to inspire the North Korean people to hate and kill us all. The people who enjoy watching a dramatization of millions of innocent Americans being incinerated can suck it up and deal with the comedy.

    • You are “Chairman of the board” for the society of the easily offended. Would you like some cheese to go with your whine?

  18. A comedy that pokes fun at North Korea was condemned by 33% who watched it claiming it poked fun at North Korea. This could only happen in today’s America.

  19. jm says:

    Nice to hear a comment from someone who actually understands what it’s all about stationed in South Korea so close to the reality!

    I particular liked that real elements were in there, like those tunnels! They were mostly shut down when they were discovered but it’s believe there are more and so showing an underground tunnel made me shudder because that’s something that actually exists, and was set up for potential attack!

    I didn’t expect it to be as good as I found it and I don’t even like Seth Rogan so I watched it more because I’ve always had very strong feelings about North Korea and feeling for those poor indoctrinated citizens!

    My main thought watching it was, “Is this really much worse than ‘Team America’?”

  20. Josue Alcala says:

    The headline for this should read “Geriatrics believed comedy movie was supposed to be a documentary” Seriously if you saw this movie expecting a “purpose driven” movie that wasn’t “culturally insensitive” why the hell did you even watch it? I mean, the whole premise is assassinating that chubby little b**** boy Kim Jung Un. That alone should have told you what kind of movie it was. Don’t even get me started on the idiots complaining about “language” have you ever seen any other Franco/ Rogen movie? Obviously not if you’re going to be a f****** whiney little f** about it. It takes someone really educated to say something really stupid guys, come on..

    • Geriatrics? No, it’s the younger ones raised by helicopter soccer moms that get their feeling hurt at the drop of a hat. You can count the older folks having a lot more back bone and being disgusted at all the whining and political correctness these days. My wife and I are in our sixties and can’t wait to see “The Interview.”

  21. Watched “The Interview” yesterday – it’s awful – no really awful – I struggled to get past the 45 minute mark.

    The language is simply disgusting and not required to make a reasonable movie worth watching.

    But perhaps it’s worth the 6 bucks to see capitalism at it’s worst.

  22. IT 2 IT says:

    As franchise slum Hollywood goes into its 6th decade
    of STEPPING ON milestone anniversaries for the KOREAN WAR.

    • therealmaxevans says:

      Wow, you must be new here. I mean seriously, you /must/ be new here. Almost every movie these days have bad language. Get used to it, nancy boy!

  23. Noize says:

    Looks to me like they hit the mark. For those who do not understand or appreciate SATIRE,
    lookie here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire

    From Wiki:

    Censorship and criticism of satire

    Descriptions of satire’s biting effect on its target include ‘venomous’, ‘cutting’, ‘stinging’,[101] vitriol. Because satire often combines anger and humor, as well as the fact that it addresses and calls into question many controversial issues, it can be profoundly disturbing.
    Typical arguments

    Because it is essentially ironic or sarcastic, satire is often misunderstood. A typical misunderstanding is to confuse the satirist with his persona.[102]

    Bad taste

    Common uncomprehending responses to satire include revulsion (accusations of poor taste, or that “it’s just not funny” for instance), to the idea that the satirist actually does support the ideas, policies, or people he is attacking. For instance, at the time of its publication, many people misunderstood Swift’s purpose in A Modest Proposal, assuming it to be a serious recommendation of economically motivated cannibalism.

  24. shingoex says:

    “Culturally Insensitive” is a sophisticated way of telling people you get butthurt easily.

  25. Tom says:

    This article is politically correct reporting at it’s worst. The “author” should be ashamed of their “journalistic” ability. At no point was this movie advertised as or did it aspire to be anything other than a silly, fun comedy. Why even bother to report on a survey that was created solely to make sure the movie came off in a bad light??? We all know this movie was a satire created to directly mock the corrupt, evil, and delusional regime of North Korea and it did so brilliantly! This was a hilarious sophomoric comedy that was never destined to be great and the only reason for it’s prominence was a blatant act of war by a nothing regime. Those “questioned” in this “survey” were destined not to get it anyway. Quit trying to make this movie an Oscar winner and acknowledge it for what it is: a hilarious comedy that mocks the most evil regime on this planet!

    • I wish this comment system allowed me to “like” your comment, Tom! Nobody promoted “The Interview” as some kind of cinematic masterpiece, so this article with its twinges of disappointment is so dumb. We knew it was going to be a silly, raunchy farce. But it doesn’t matter if it’s the stupidest movie of all time or the greatest film ever made. Watch or don’t watch – that’s your right and what the issue is all about!

  26. I haven’t seen the movie, and its previews left me with low expectations, but these survey results seem to be all worded to emphasize the negative. The article reads like propaganda more than news.

  27. lakawak says:

    Were there actually people who EXPECTED it to be good? Maybe these two will finally learn that they are not nearly as hilarious as they THINK they are.

  28. kyoko703 says:

    I don’t know who they surveyed or who reviewed the film but I thought the movie was well done and rather painted Kim Jung as a normal guy who just slightly has some issues with his father. Then again, just like the film Kim Jung In said, you have to be a little bat shit crazy to run a country at his age.

    I personally liked the movie a lot and am glad I paid the full price to own it on HD streaming as I have it already offlined viewing for both my iPad and nexus7.

  29. Jay White says:

    The movie was auh-mazing, and anyone who says different doesn’t understand True comdey. Those same people who hacked Sony are probably the only ones who took the survey, plus imdb.com has it sitting at a 9.9 out of 10.

  30. Josie says:

    Ya’ll are kiddin’ me right? It was flippin hilarious! Perhaps if the dumbass Kim Jong Un didn’t want to be portrayed as such a dumbass, he should stop being one! Feed the people, American and surrounding countries stop sending Aid that he will get ahold of and find a way to bring his butt down from Office to put someone who IS responsible in there. Freakin’ ‘insensitive’ my ass…what the hell ever. Lighten up people! Have a laugh! Minus the biting fingers off thing…it was GREAT!

  31. Joel Berry says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s a Seth Rogen movie, what exactly were these “6 out of 10” people expecting? If they want serious comedy, listen to NPR. “The Interview” was exactly what it was intended to be: crude, crass, slightly idiotic but often utterly hilarious comedy that happened to have a backdrop of a serious world issue, the North Korean Regime. The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are also at times ridiculous and low-brow, but through comedy and satire, they have probably done more good and raised more awareness about a host of important sociopolitical issues than they would have writing op eds in serious newspapers.

  32. Cfrmr says:

    I thought it was a great comedy and it made me laugh. People should stop being so up tight. And who cares if we offend a dictator or govt that is basically evil…

  33. greg says:

    dumb Americans…marketing 101

  34. reezy says:

    mrrr its culturally insensitive and does not represent north korea for being the magical unicorn’s buttonhole wonderland it is. It is a COMEDY, pc freaks get out of here

  35. myob says:

    Forget insensitive, it was just too vulgar.

  36. JT88 says:

    Uh oh. Pretentious dick alert!

  37. John Shea says:

    OF COURSE it’s culturally insensitive! It’s a COMEDY! Humorless politically correct people should avoid it.

  38. oopster says:

    What the f**&^ are people actually expecting here?! This is a movie by the same guys who made Pineapple Express. Just sit back and have fun! It’s not a frickin’ political documentary, for FLARKS sake! Jesus take yourselves too seriously, much?!

    Lighten tha hell up, people!

  39. lilian says:

    Still don’t know what the fuss is all about. It’s just a movie and am gonna see

  40. Aaron says:

    Screw you people. It’s a comedy. And for me it’s a great one because I am stationed in South Korea righ now and that crazy bad hair day freak up north has so many issues who cares about a movie. I think it was a pretty accurate movie. The people up there are starving. He does think he is above other people. People in America need to pull a stick out of there butts and just watch a funny movie without over thinking things.

    • Shilly says:

      They have & people didn’t. In fact, many propaganda films about the US are, get this, made in the US. Check out anything made my Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11), Supersize Me, Who Killed the Electric Car? etc. etc. etc. And please don’t tell me any of them aren’t propaganda, because if you do, I suggest you look up the definition of propaganda first.

  41. Ian says:

    IT”S ONLY A MOVIE, PEOPLE!!!!! Stupid, funny, insensitive, and everything else. But no one should prevent anyone from seeing it if they want to.

    • Sam812 says:

      Only a movie? Then why did we go to such lengths to get this released? Nothing about this movie represents the ideas of equality and respect for others we supposedly embrace and preach to the world. The movie represents our need to to been seen as a bunch of race-discriminating, insensitive idiots.

  42. Jessica says:

    The film is lousy, period. The international hullabaloo was made over this dreck, is a far better farce then the actual film.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Anyone who thought the film would be any good or politically correct, is out if touch with America, comedy and the entire reason for seeing the film.

      Had NK not dine a thing, the film would have received poor reviews and been out if the theatres within 2 to 3 weeks. But, because if what happened, its become s film to see ONKY to show NK and China, we’ll watch what we want. If you’re expecting a PC film or something great, then please refrain from commenting.

  43. Lucky says:

    “Six out of 10 agreed that “The Interview” does not represent Hollywood filmmaking or American attitudes positively” … I haven’t yet seen the film, but isn’t it a satire? Did Dr. Strangelove represent int’l/American politics positively?

    • Yikes says:

      Are you actually invoking Kubrick’s Cold War masterpiece DR. STRANGELOVE in any kind of comparison to Seth Rogan’s INTERVIEW? My God, where has taste gone?

  44. Andrew Kole says:

    There’s no getting around a bad movie. Maybe the greatest unintended promotion for a movie ever still could not change the fact the movie “sucks” even stoned.

  45. Alice M says:

    Oh come on. It’s not meant to be culturally sensitive. How would you expect it to be? Everything about the trailer screams culturally insensitive jackass humor.

    If you expected anything different, perhaps you should hang back and check out the Tumblr ratings before you expose yourself to anything potentially upsetting. You wouldn’t want to be triggered by anything unsavory.

  46. JohnnieB says:

    This movie was a disaster from the start. We have no right to be claiming our freedom at the expense of other cultures and religions. We live in such a hypocritical society in the USA. This piece of garbage movie is not representative of anything other than studios trying to make a quick dollar – and failing. I wish the media would just finish reporting on this and move on.

  47. Shameless says:

    Perhaps what is shameful is that one could make a joke about a very real situation. Seeing as i am not korean i will laugh at the movie. However it is important to remember that north korea’s dictator is not a fictious character.

  48. M. F. Sibley says:

    We’re talking about a Seth Rogen and James Franco production here. Did anyone think it was going to be Oscar calibre satire? These two wouldn’t know good satire if it bit them in the ass repeatedly. Everything they’re in is an “in” joke to begin with and an excuse to pick up some easy cash from the studio as their target audience are stoned college kids and twenty somethings. Sony spent over $40 million on this steaming pile of manure. My question is this: what were they smoking or drinking when this project was greenlighted? It seems as though Hollywood has more money than they know what to do with and that’s the true shame in all of this. Experts are saying that Sony probably won’t recoup what they’ve put into this film. Who cares? They deserve to lose everything and then some for tasteless crap like this.

  49. Jacques Strappe says:

    The most despicable living dictator deserves so much worse. When Hitler was spreading his reign of terror throughout Europe, the American entertainment industry used every opportunity to lampoon Hitler as “insensitively” as possible for the times. Apparently, 7 out of 10 Americans are clueless about Kim Jong Un and his barbaric rule in North Korea. This film, while far from being great cinema, should be applauded and celebrated for its message, however lowbrow the humor and execution. The delicious irony of this hacking scandal and subsequent threats of 9/11 style of attacks if SONY screened the film is that hackers gave the film more marketing PR and gravitas then the film would have otherwise received or arguably even deserved.

  50. Jason says:

    God, it’s a SATIRICAL COMEDY that covers NK, US relations, pop culture, and media. Is this the only movie they watched in their lives? I bet these are all old people that they surveyed. This article does’t belong in this site. It definitely belongs in every tabloid news.

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