Tags: The Interview | Sony | Obama | North Korea

Obama Hails Sony's Theatrical Release of 'The Interview'

Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 10:45 PM

The White House has issued a strong statement of support for Sony Pictures' decision to release "The Interview" on Christmas Day.

"The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film," the statement said. "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 theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film and we welcome that outcome."

The statement came a few hours after the studio reversed its Dec. 17 announcement to withdraw "The Interview" and opted instead for a limited release to independent theaters, and four days after the president said Sony had "made a mistake" by pulling the Seth Rogen-James Franco satire out of theaters.

"Yes, I think they made a mistake," he said at a press conference, in response to a question about whether he agreed with Sony's decision. He cited what the effect could be on distribution of other types of films, like documentaries, that certain foreign regimes don't like.

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States, 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," Obama said. "That's not who we are. That's not what America is about."

He added, "We cannot start changing our patterns of behavior any more than we stop going to a football game because there may be a possibility of a terrorist attack." He cited the case of the running of the Boston Marathon this year after a terrorist attack a year earlier.

"I wish they had spoken to me first," Obama also said, referring to Sony. "I would have told them, 'Do not get into a pattern in which you're intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.' "

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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The White House has issued a strong statement of support for Sony Pictures' decision to release The Interview on Christmas Day. The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film, the statement said. As the president made clear, we're a country...
The Interview, Sony, Obama, North Korea
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2014-45-23
Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 10:45 PM
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