Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is requesting that U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) reverse its decision “without delay” regarding the cancellation of two screenings of the box office hit “Sound of Freedom.”
SOUTHCOM scheduled two screenings of the movie, which has grossed more than $189 million domestically, at its base in Doral, Florida, on Aug. 28 and Oct. 19. The movie, starring Jim Caviezel, is based on the true story of a former government agent who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from sex traffickers.
But the Military Times reported Sept. 5 that SOUTHCOM said in a statement it canceled the free screenings to “prevent the appearance of copyright infringement.”
“While reporting suggests that SOUTHCOM unexpectedly canceled the movie due to concerns about ‘copyright infringement,’ I am aware that its producers and the studio have communicated that this is not an impediment for the movie to be shown at SOUTHCOM to service members and their families,” Rubio wrote Wednesday in a letter to Army Gen. Laura Richardson, SOUTHCOM’s commander.
“As such, since the concern which led to the cancellation has now been addressed, I urge you to rectify this situation and ensure that the screenings of the film be rescheduled without delay.”
Critics have questioned the showing of a politically leaning and faith-based movie on a federal base — especially as troops are required to remain apolitical at work.
“Given SOUTHCOM’s robust leadership on combatting trafficking in persons, and the relevance of the ‘Sound of Freedom’ movie to SOUTHCOM’s mission, I was alarmed to learn of the decision to cancel the film’s screenings at SOUTHCOM,” Rubio wrote.
“Especially given the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense regularly works with movie studios to host viewings of films on U.S. military installations for service members and their families.
“… I hope you agree that what matters is whether the movie is worth showing to the troops and potentially meeting the filmmakers, not whether the troops can buy a movie ticket or stream the film on their own. As such, I request immediate confirmation that ‘Sound of Freedom’ will be shown at SOUTHCOM as originally planned.”
In an email to Newsmax, a SOUTHCOM spokesperson confirmed receipt of the letter and said comment would come later.
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and poltics.
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