Hollywood’s is a history rife with offensive films, political controversy and reactionary self-censorship.
The world reacted with great sorrow and regret today as Sony Pictures announced it would be cancelling all screenings of The Interview, the clever, sophisticated political comedy about how James Franco and Seth Rogan attempt to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong-un. Cinephiles are surely weeping over this great loss to the American film canon. Franco and Rogen will have to find some way to console themselves over this agonizing blow to their artistic repertoire, perhaps by rolling around in the piles and piles of money they will make from the movie anyway.
If there are worries this might have a chilling effect on future film production, they’ve been justified. It looks like another North Korean-related film project, this one starring Steve Carell, has been tabled indefinitely. Still, this isn’t the first time a film project has been shut down over concerns about its contents. Hollywood’s is a history rife with offensive films, political controversy and reactionary self-censorship. Here are three films that were too contentious to be screened: