12/29/2014 10:11 am ET Updated Feb 23, 2015

Sony Pictures Mans Up: Now We Need to Watch The Interview


Well, Sony Pictures Entertainment finally decided to man up and to release The Interview as was originally scheduled on Christmas, albeit in limited release in a scant few movie houses, as if it were an art-house film.

This change of heart comes only after many people, including this Huffington Post contributor, blasted its cowardly act of self-censorship. After such salvos and perhaps taking cover behind them, even President Barack Obama joined the chorus and called Sony's decision to pull the movie a "mistake."

The good news on Tuesday afternoon from Sony Pictures does not, however, end the fight. Not in the least.

Now it is time for two more very important things to happen.

First, the major theater chains that control oodles and oodles of screens that trade in the free-speech products that are motion pictures must show the movie. The Interview's silver screen distribution must not be limited to those independent movie houses with the spine and courage to show it.

Second, Americans must turn out to see it on Christmas day. After unwrapping presents, we need to get in cars and drive to those few theaters that show the movie and see it. This is no time for the comfort of watching movies at home on Netflix.

We must take this second step -- we must match Sony's cojones, as it were -- because we owe it to ourselves and, more importantly, to the principle of free speech. The price of a movie ticket is a small price to pay for freedom of expression.

And finally, while we are on the topic of free expression and to put a simple trip to the movies in to perspective, let's please not forget the American journalists like James Foley who died for the First Amendment in 2014. It is highly doubtful, however, that the major corporations that run the movie theaters will demonstrate the same courage as Foley who sacrificed his life attempting to inform Americans about the evil perpetrated by some nations. Note to theater chains -- in your case, that means North Korea.

May the year 2015 be a much better one for free speech.