Obama revealed in his year-end briefing at the White House that Sony did not consult him before canceling theatrical screenings of the film this past week. “Sony is a corporation, it suffered significant damage, there were some threats against employees,” Obama told reporters. “I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”
He continued: “I wish Sony had spoken to me first,” the President said, adding that intimidation of North Korea should not “get into the way of doing business.”
He added: “If somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when 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’s about.”
In a more lighthearted moment, Obama flubbed the pronunciation of actor James Franco‘s name as “James Flacco,” making the hashtag #WeAreAllJamesFlacco trend on Twitter. “I love Seth and I love James,” the president said, “but the notion that that was a threat to them, gives you a sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about.”
He went on to slam the notoriously secluded state of North Korea as a “regime that represses its people.”
The president vowed that the United States will eventually respond to North Korea “in a place and manner and time that we choose.”
“North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves,” the FBI’s statement read. “Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”
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