Obama: Sony Made “Mistake” Pulling The Interview From Theaters, U.S. Will Respond “Proportionally” To North Korea (VIDEO)
President Obama addressed the press corps on a wide range of topics on Friday, but talked at length about the North Koreans’ hacking of Sony and what he thought of how the film company handled it and how the U.S. will respond. The president said that while he was sympathetic to Sony and its employees, whose personal information and correspondences leaked, he said, “I think they made a mistake” by pulling The Interview from theaters (video below).
He added that he wished the executives at Sony who made the decision to shelve the film “had spoken to me first,” and the president expressed that we should not get into a “pattern” in which we’re “intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.” Obama stood firm, “We can’t change our patterns of behavior.” He said, for example, what if the attack had been a physical one in which Sony’s offices were broken into and property was taken. The president asked whether the studio have closed shopped over that?
Obama further said we cannot have a situation anymore “where a dictator can be imposing censorship here in the United States.” He pointed out that if this was the way the North Korean government reacted to a satirical movie, imagine how it will respond to documentaries and news reports that it doesn’t like. He also said he fears producers and exhibitors will now “engage in self-censorship.” It’s not what “America’s about,” said the president.
While he didn’t mean to poke fun of the film’s stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, Obama got a few laughs when he noted it says something about the North Korean government when it “mounts an all-out attack” on a comedy made by those two guys. That said, when asked how the U.S. will respond, the commander-in-chief assured it will be “proportional” and “appropriate” to the crimes committed “in a place and time we choose.” Note: Video no longer available.