The term “disruption” is a hugely overused buzzword thrown around to describe companies or trends that really “shake things up”. Often attributed to technology, or a radical change in the normal ways of doing things; trend-setting startups like Airbnb and Uber fall into this disruptive category. Companies, leaders, entrepreneurs and many social figures have been praised for being “disruptive”. The word once used to designate unruly school children is now a resume-worthy badge of honor. Sure, it sounds negative, but, there’s obvious hugely positive impacts of being disruptive. Disruptive companies stir upward momentum. Disruptive leaders spark change. Disruptive ideas evoke controversy and conversation.
Can disruption go too far? As I am writing this, the headline on my Google News page reads “’The Interview’: Sony Corporation geniuses, what were you thinking?” That is as disruptive as I’ve ever seen! If you haven’t heard of the film yet, I’m sure you will. Originally slated for a Christmas Day release, “The Interview” features James Franco and Seth Rogen, starring as talk show hosts, tasked with the mission of turning an interview into an assassination of the North Korean leader. To summarize several weeks’ worth of news: controversy, terrorist threats, more controversy, data security breaches, and cyber terrorism (just to name a few). All leading up to major theater franchises pulling the movie from over 600 locations, and eventually Sony itself is removing the film from its holiday release plans.
Interesting…disruptive – or ridiculously over board and incredibly foolish? As one Fox News writer penned, “The film also offers a strange confirmation for suspicion in much of the world that American journalists actually are government spies. That distrust has gotten more than a few heroic journalists killed.” How sad, and compellingly true.
Sure, the movie probably had some good laughs, and might have done well at the box office, but by and large this has not only wreaked havoc on Sony Pictures. The brand will certainly suffer as a result. But let’s not forget the bigger picture, the risk of the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of this country. As of now, the FBI has issued statements claiming there is no real threat facing the American public.
Disruption is good. Great, in fact. Unfortunately for Sony Pictures, the disruption caused by “The Interview” is undeniably awful.
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