What South Koreans Say About ‘The Interview’

January 20, 2015 Updated: January 20, 2015

Original article on www.vagabondjourney.com

Weeks after its debut, Sony’s “The Interview” still garners wide attention in the news and on social media. Quite a grand spectacle has been made over the “threat” this film caused for national security, as well as the danger posed by the alleged hacking group “Guardians of Peace.”

Speaking subjectively, I have never seen a film get so much attention in the days surrounding its release—or so it seems. Then again, I’ve only been reading about it on the English-speaking part of the Internet.

With all of the chatter and faux-controversy surrounding “The Interview” in the Anglosphere, I wanted to know what normal Korean folks thought about the film. After all, Friendly Korea sits within easy reach of Angry Korea’s shenanigans. Should the Supreme Leader feel particularly vengeful, there are plenty of sleeper agents running around Gangnam style in the south, waiting for orders to wreak havoc at a moment’s notice.

In surveying the Korean population, it was important for me to seek the opinions of a statistically diverse, highly representative range of people. Otherwise, the results would not hold up to scientific scrutiny. In order to do this, I used an advanced surveying technique, upheld as the standard in modern reporting methodology and used by many leading Internet journalists. In short, I messaged every single Korean person on my contact list.

The surveyed group included the participants listed below.

  • Friends
  • Casual acquaintances
  • Colleagues
  • People I owed money.
  • A woman who lost all romantic interest in me 10 minutes into the first date. (It was mutual. We’re bros now.)
  • Half a dozen people I met while drunk and never talked to again.
  • A person listed as “Sally’s Friend -???”
  • A contact saved as “Eyebrows Guy – SK.”

As you can see, the surveyed group was completely representative. It includes three major demographic groups of society: those that like the author, those that hate the author, and those that are neutral about the author. Education level, age, gender, language ability, residency status—these factors could provide little effect on the potential outcome of the survey and were therefore disregarded.

Now, for a look at the results. Breaking from modern reporting methods, you will notice one unusual feature: the answers have in no way been sensationalized. Answers are in random order.


This is just a sample of the many answers I received. In general, responses fit into a few categories.

  1. I’ve never heard of “The Interview.”
  2. I’ve never watched “The Interview,” but strangers on the Internet say it’s terrible.
  3. The movie is racist/orientalist/stupid.
  4. I’ve never watched “The Interview,” but strangers on the internet say it’s racist/orientalist/stupid.
  5. I really hope this doesn’t tick off North Korea.
  6. I really hope this does tick off North Korea.

The takeaway from this one is short and sweet. First, the film is racist, orientalist, and stupid, although that was apparently done on purpose. Intentional or not, few get the joke—offensive humor doesn’t seem too popular here in South Korea. Second, there are many angry people on the Internet who are very, very good at broadcasting their opinions. Finally, no one likes North Korea, but war isn’t really that great so please stop trying to make Kim Jong-un angry, eh? South Korea is hoping for a Germany-style reunification which will happen … eventually? Somehow? It’s not entirely clear. But really guys, although it’s doubtful the film will cause anything to happen, war is pretty terrible, so don’t poke the bear. At least that seems to be the consensus.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my questions.

Copyright © 2014 by Vagabond Journey Travel. This article was written by Wade Shepard and originally published on www.vagabondjourney.com.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.