Sony bosses have responded to President Obama’s criticism over their decision to cancel the release of The Interview. Sony says they had no choice but to cancel the film, and it was not their fault.
President Obama called the move “a mistake” in his end-of-year press conference at The White House yesterday and Sean Penn suggested the decision to bow to the pressure of cyber threats sends the wrong message to potential terrorists hoping to bring Hollywood and big business in America to its knees.
Now Sony executives have responded with a statement, insisting the decision not to move forward with the theatrical release of The Interview was made “as a result of the majority of the nation’s theatre owners choosing not to screen the film.”
They add, “Let us be clear, the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters, we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice.
“After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”
On Friday, FBI officials confirmed the hackers who stole Sony database details and published private emails and unreleased movies online were linked to the North Korean regime.
The film features the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Meanwhile, the Sony bosses have hired top crisis management guru Judy Smith to help them deal with the fall-out from their decision to scrap the film’s release.
Smith, who was the inspiration for Kerry Washington’s character in hit TV drama Scandal, worked as deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush before starting her own crisis management firm, Smith & Company. Her past clients have included Monica Lewinsky and actor Wesley Snipes.