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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 29, 2014 at 3:55 PM

‘The Interview’: Seth Rogen is no hero; no respect for Kim Jong Un

Sony shelved “The Interview,” a comedy co-starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about the assassination of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, after cancellations by theater owners in the face of a threat. But now, it appears that release of the movie is on again (Damian Dovarganes / The Associated Press).

Seth Rogen is no hero

I agree with Rekha Basu’s column [“Should satire be as clueless as ‘The Interview’?” Opinion, Dec. 28] concerning “The Interview.” While I was appalled that the film industry was intimidated by threats concerning its screening, I was also appalled that Sony sought to produce this film. Although Kim Jong Un is certainly barbaric, it is tasteless and indecent to portray the assassination of a nation’s leader humorously.

While freedom of speech and the press are precious rights, it is important for our society to revive the concept of shame, civic responsibility and self-censorship.

Heeding lessons from ancient Rome, James Madison and other Founding Fathers believed that free speech and other constitutional rights would be truly workable only if sufficient numbers of people chose not to abuse these rights and instead exercised an adequate degree of self-control.

Along with rights come responsibilities. Seth Rogen is no hero.

Daniel Burnstein, Seattle

No respect for Kim

While I agree with Rakha Basu’s opinion, she is making a flawed comparison with the Koran burning episode at a Florida church.

Burning the Koran offends the beliefs of one-quarter of the world’s population. While I don’t share those beliefs, I respect the right of others to hold them.

On the other hand, Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea is deserving of no such respect. Kim has been known to execute his rivals. He maintains slave labor camps. He diverts resources to an ill-advised nuclear weapons program while his people are starving.

Kim’s regime is offensive to the commonly held morals of the free world. If he finds a Seth Rogen comedy to be offensive, so be it.

Joe Sullivan, Kirkland

Comments | More in North Korea | Topics: "The Interview", Daniel Burnstein, Joe Sullivan

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