Last Friday, President Obama criticised Sony in a press conference for pulling “The Interview” from theatres after threats from hackers.
Obama said Sony “made a mistake,” explaining, “I wish [Sony] had spoken to me first. I would have told them do not get into a pattern where you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”
Despite Sony CEO Michael Lynton disputing the president’s comments, many industry insiders argued that Obama’s strongly-worded remarks would ultimately force the studio to release the controversial film one way or another.
The White House was very happy with Sony’s decision, and released the below statement:
The president applauds Sony’s decision to authorise screenings of the film. As the president made clear, we’re a country that believes in free speech and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theatres allows people to make their own choices about the film and we welcome that outcome.
“The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco were also thrilled by the news:
The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn’t give up! The Interview will be shown at theatres willing to play it on Xmas day!
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 23, 2014
Seth Rogen and James Franco star in “The Interview,” about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Pyongyang government denounced the film as “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war” in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon back in June.
Since then, a group of hackers calling themselves “Guardians of Peace” hit Sony Pictures Entertainment with an unprecedented and devastating series of cyber attacks, which led to the release of thousands of sensitive emails of Sony executives and threats that the hackers would release more if the film’s release wasn’t canceled.
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