Dictators outraged by movies and video games

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Manuel Noriega doesn’t like how he’s portrayed in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

A dictator is a leader who has total power over a country, and as you can imagine, they don’t really like to be contradicted. Since they’re above the law and very rarely elected freely, just the mere act of criticizing them can end up sending people to jail. So, it’s no surprise to find Panama’s former dictator Manuel Noriega throwing a temper tantrum over a video game and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un declaring war against a Hollywood movie!

The dictator dramafest started when actors James Franco and Seth Rogen released a trailer last month for their film The Interview, an action comedy flick in which they play news reporters contracted by the USA spy organization, the Central Intelligence Agency, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. See, the North Korean government is known for making huge dramatic threats against everyone, but never really backing it up with action. They’re like little yappy dogs that bark loudly, but run away the moment you say “Boo!”

So, when they learned about The Interview, the North Korean administration promised to “take a decisive and merciless countermeasure”, and said it was proof of the USA government suffering from “insanity” and supporting a “gangster filmmaker”. As if that wasn’t extreme enough, they also said that The Interview is “the most blatant act of terrorism and an act of war that we will never tolerate”. Really?!

Now, former Panamanian dictator Noriega is jumping on the silly train, lashing out at the video game company Activision Blizzard for portraying him as a villain in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II first-person shooter game. The game, which made $1 billion in its first months on the market, is based in part on real historical events during the Cold War – when the USA and Soviet Russia competed for global influence from 1946-1991. During this time, Noriega caused trouble for the USA at the Panama Canal, a shortcut that connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean so that countries don’t have to go all the way around South America. The USA eventually invaded in 1989, removed him from power, and found him guilty of criminal acts. Even though he’s currently imprisoned in Panama, that didn’t stop 80-year-old Noriega from suing Activision Blizzard for harming his reputation! The lawsuit argues that the 2012 video game makes him out to be a “kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state”.

Geez, these guys are really sensitive! I guess one way of knowing that you’re no longer an all-powerful dictator with global influence, is when you’re declaring war on comedy movies and suing video games…

Images courtesy of Columbia Pictures.