Is Sony being censored or using common sense?

Answer by A Quora admin:

I don't understand why this is an either/or question.

Any attempt to prevent the release of an artistic work is censorship.

And whether you give in to that censorship or not is indeed a matter of common sense. In this instance, the initial reports that Sony had pulled the movie from theatrical release was merely a response to theaters refusing to display it. It had already been successfully suppressed and Sony was acknowledging this. That didn't mean that they have given up.

Hollywood instituted the Production Code back in the 20s in order to fend off calls of boycott and threats to legislate censorship. What followed was 40 years of content censorship and internal policing of the lifestyle excesses of movie stars. The movie business, like most other areas of business, is actually quite risk adverse. They don't run chances.

Many complain that the endless sequels and franchise films are boring and Hollywood refusing to take chances. I agree with this criticism, but studios are in business, not placing themselves in the role of uncompromising artists. Common sense here literally suggests that Sony should walk away. There is no need for Sony to make a political statement or defend their first amendment rights against a criminal enterprise. (First amendment, by the way, only protects against suppression by the U.S. government; it's actually not relevant here.)

Is Sony being censored or using common sense?