Following a massive terrorist hack in late November that earlier this week led to the cancellation of the planned Christmas Day release of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s raunchy political satire The Interview.
Today, announcing that North Korea was, indeed, responsible for the hack, President Barack Obama issued a response.
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” he said (via CNN), “because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.”
Obama also had some seemingly harsh words regarding the response from Sony to cancel the release.
“I am sympathetic to the concerns that they face,” said the President. “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake. Let’s not get into that way of doing business.”
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, however, was quick to explain the studio’s point-of-view, reminding us that, with the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of most major theater chains, they had no choice but to pull the film.
“We do not own movie theaters,” he clarified to CNN shortly thereafter. “We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters… We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered and we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to let the American public see this movie.”
That was followed with an official statement from Sony:
“It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”