President Obama addressed the Sony hack Friday, telling reporters the studio “made a mistake” by cancelling the Christmas Day premiere of “The Interview,” which depicted the assassination of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un.
“I wish [Sony] had spoken to me first,” he said. “I would have told them do not get into a pattern where you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”
Sony CEO Michael Lynton responded to Obama’s comments by saying that the studio “did not cave” and that “The president, the press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened.”
Sony is continuing to fight back against the president’s remarks, saying that it did, in fact, speak with the White House before pulling the film, which spurred North Korean hackers to expose the studio’s sensitive internal documents to the world.
Sony had “many conversations both before and after the movie was pulled Wednesday,” a source told The Hollywood Reporter.
Sony also just released another statement, explaining “the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theatres, after the theatre owners declined to show it.”
The company expressed that it is “surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform” and “It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”
Read Sony’s full statement below (via The Wrap):
Sony Pictures Entertainment is and always has been strongly committed to the First Amendment. For more than three weeks, despite brutal intrusions into our company and our employees’ personal lives, we maintained our focus on one goal: getting the film The Interview released. Free expression should never be suppressed by threats and extortion.
The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation’s theatre owners choosing not to screen the film. This was their decision.
Let us be clear — the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theatres, after the theatre owners declined to show it. Without theatres, we could not release it in the theatres on Christmas Day. We had no choice.
After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.
Today’s statement has Sony singing a different tune than they were earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Sony Pictures told Deadline it has “no further” release plans for “The Interview.”
Sony canceled the theatrical release of the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy “The Interview” on Wednesday after major theatre chains pulled out of showing the film following scary threats from hackers.
But even if major theatre chains refused to play the movie, there were still plenty of independent theatres, like George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, that would have been happy to show the controversial flick.
The FBI said Friday that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacks.
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