POTUS has spoken. President Barack Obama called out Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday, Dec. 19, saying it was a “mistake” for the company to have pulled the theatrical release of The Interview.
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.”
The president spoke several hours after the FBI concluded that North Korea, indeed, had orchestrated the Nov. 24 mass attack against Sony.
“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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