For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
December 19, 2014
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) has extended an offer to Sony Pictures to host a screening of the film The Interview, the release of which was entirely canceled due to threats of attacks on theaters should the film be shown. CFI, an international organization that defends science, secularism, and free expression, has offered to screen the film at its headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y.
In a letter to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, CFI president and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay expresses his disappointment at Sony’s capitulation to threats by still-unknown individuals, as it sends a troubling message that even powerful corporations will censor ideas that might offend certain people.
“Much of our work is centered on securing the right to hold and express unpopular opinions and beliefs in places where dissent is crushed through persecution, violence, imprisonment, and death,” writes Lindsay. “It is a sad turn of events that a powerful source of free expression such as Sony Pictures could choose to give in to a shadowy group’s intolerance of dissent.”
The letter continues, “If Sony Pictures is not willing to release The Interview, we at the Center for Inquiry volunteer to screen it at our own headquarters in Buffalo, New York. We believe strongly enough in the right to the free expression of even unpopular ideas that we are willing to shoulder the risk of doing so, a risk we frankly believe to be negligible. We will use our facility’s auditorium, and make the screening open to the public for no charge.”
Said Lindsay of his offer to Sony, “Free expression is a fundamental human right, one that a creative force like Sony Pictures ought to defend without hesitation. If they are unwilling to do so, we will be glad to help them. It will give a chance for the men and women who worked so hard to produce The Interview to have their work seen, and we’ll show the world that we won’t be intimidated into giving up our rights.”
The full letter is available here: http://bit.ly/CFISony
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.