Obama on Sony: 'They made a mistake' canceling 'The Interview' showings
By RYAN GORMAN
U.S. President Barack Obama expressed regrets that Sony Pictures did not speak with him prior to canceling the scheduled release of "The Interview."
Obama fired verbal shots over the brow of North Korea and dictator Kim Jong Un while vowing to respond appropriately to the infiltration of the movie studio and the retraction of the satirical film.
"They made a mistake," said the president. "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States."
The commander in chief expressed concerns that canceling a satirical movie sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to documentaries and even news reports being retracted or shelved.
"I wish [Sony] had spoken to me first," Obama lamented, adding that Americans should not be worried about "offending sensibilities of people whose sensibilities should be offended."
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton insisted the studio wants the movie shown in excerpts of a CNN interview set to air Friday night that were shown earlier in the afternoon.
"We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters," Lynton insisted. "We experienced the worst cyberattack in American history and persevered for three and a half weeks under enormous stress and enormous difficulty.
"The movie theaters came to us one by one over the course of a very short time. We were very surprised by it," Lynton continued. "They announced that they would not carry the movie. At that point in time, we had no alternative to not proceed with a theatrical release on the 25th of December.
"We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered."
Obama then insisted that America would strike back at the hermit kingdom for sponsoring the hacking of Sony Pictures.
"We'll respond proportionally ... in a place, time and manner that we choose," said the president.
Obama claimed that he is being presented with a number of options, but stopped short of saying whether a cyber attack or military action would be taken against Kim's reclusive regime.
He did express hope that "the wild west" of Internet hacking would be brought under control by a uniform set of international laws and rules.
"We've got no indication that North Korea was acting with another country."
Obama also professed his love for both Seth Rogen and "James Flacco," despite the movie starring Rogen and James Franco.
When asked if he would watch the film in a symbolic gesture, Obama played coy.
"I've got a long list of movies I'm going to be watching."