Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus encouraged the CEOs of 10 major exhibition chains to book Sony’s Seth Rogen and James Franco political comedy The Interview. In a letter obtained by CNN, Priebus directed, “I want to speak clearly on behalf of the Republican Party: I urge you to show the movie.”
“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,” he added.
“Like many Americans, I’m deeply concerned that we would allow a foreign regime to dictate the movies we can and cannot watch…As you know, the Republican Party and Hollywood have at times been at odds. 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.”
The letter comes one day after President Obama told Sony that it “made a mistake” in pulling The Interview from theaters. This led Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton to tell CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that Obama — and others — were “mistaken” about what had happened. Lynton said, “We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters”, specifying that exhibitors backed away from The Interview after the cyber terrorists made 9/11 threats should the film be released.