Two weeks after the intended wide release of “The Interview,” the tumultuous path of the James Franco and Seth Rogen film has taken another turn. Sony Pictures will be sued for using a Korean pop song in the movie, allegedly without paying the artist.
The song is “Pay Day” by Yoon Mi-rae, an American-born K-pop star. The South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported Friday that her management company, Feelgood Music, announced that it found out only after the film’s limited release that the song was used in the movie. “The Interview” is now available to watch in more than 300 theaters or to stream online via YouTube, iTunes and other services.
The scene in question involves Franco’s character and Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) partaking in debauchery with multiple scantily clad women. They take shots, play pool, do the limbo, and play a game of spin the bottle that ends with Franco and the dictator kissing each other. In the background is the upbeat rhythm of “Pay Day.”
According to Feelgood Music, the company was in talks with Sony about using the song in the film. It claims that those discussions took a “hiatus” and that no contract was ever signed.
Yoon Mi-rae, born Natasha Shanta Reid in Fort Hood, Tex., has been active in the Korean pop scene since the late 90s. Last year, the 33-year-old reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 list with her song “Touch Love.” The song in “The Interview” was from her 2007 album “Yoonmirae.”