President Obama Hails Sony’s Theatrical Release of ‘The Interview’

Barack Obama The Interview Sony
Leigh Vogel/WireImage

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.’”

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m. PST — Rep. Adam Schiff, a Deomcratic  member of the House Intelligence Committee, has also endorsed the studio’s decision —

I’m very glad to see that Sony has secured the agreement of certain theaters to exhibit ‪#‎TheInterview‬, and urge that other chains quickly follow suit. I hope the film will achieve wide viewership around the world through video on demand and other online release, and in many languages including Korean. Giving this parody the broadest viewership possible will be the best response to the threats and cyber attacks from the regime of Kim Jong-un.

Free expression is the bedrock principle of a democratic society and is especially important in the arts. We must not allow the world’s most oppressive dictatorship to have a veto over what American audiences can see at their local theater, or in their own homes.

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  1. Drew Ricci says:

    1. Li’l Kim is not another human being. He’s an evil dictator that executes absolutely anyone they feel has done something against the state. Even his own uncle, for a mere show of power. N.K.’s crimes against humanity are of the kind that has not been seen since the Nazis.
    2. N.K. constantly threatens war, death and nuclear fire on the U.S.
    3. Their military technology is a joke and most of their soldiers are starving like the rest of the nation. They can’t do a thing to us. Any retaliation from them would have to come from “lone wolf” style sympathizers and there aren’t a ton of those out there.
    4. Your “Gods” have nothing to do with any of this, keep your self-righteous religious agendas where they belong – with yourselves.
    Yes, this movie may be a touchy moral subject so I propose a solution. If this offends you, don’t give money to see it. Plain and simple. This country has maintained it’s freedoms by standing by the principles it was founded on – one of which is to not give in to the threats and actions of terrorists, which is exactly what this is. Promising retaliation, as N.K. has, is a terrorist threat. The world watches us with extreme scrutiny and when we start to show that we can be turned, others see an opportunity. This endangers the lives of the citizens of this country. It threatens the civil liberties and rights of the people that live here – including your right to your religious beliefs or to criticize the leaders of the nation. You’re not always going to agree with things that are done here…well, too bad, get used to it, because I promise there are people that don’t agree with some of YOUR beliefs and things you do either. That doesn’t give them the right to tell you that you can’t. Quit your whining and finger pointing and live your lives the best way you can, believing what you believe. Be a good person and an example of what it’s like to be a member of a tolerant society.

  2. President Obama hails freedom of speech.
    …that it is RIGHT (a right) to be free ( to claim, embrace, and live by the freedom) to make a comedy about the killing of another man ( in this case the leader of another nation).

    There are people today who also make fun of, glorify, and think it is right to kill men, women, children…as you see today in many parts of the world.

    Is it a “comedy” to envisage the killing of another human being?

    Would it be a “comedy” if someone would make a movie about killing your father, mother, brother, sister, wife, child?
    …please note that they would claim that it was being done in the name of freedom of speech.

    President Obama, and the “free” world, and each individual, claim this FREEDOM to be the light, the spirit, the true way for ‘oneself’.

    This FREEDOM also dictates that it is RIGHT ( a right) to be free to worship ANY ‘god’.
    …whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Satanist, and the list goes on.

    BUT the Lord Jesus Christ said that we are to worship the One Lord Your Creator God and Him Alone to serve in obedience and love….love for Him First and Foremost and love for, to do good to, the fellow man (friend or foe)…..not make fun of the idea of killing him.

    Very soon, the Son of the One Creator, The Lord Jesus Christ, will return to rule the earth in power as the One King according to the Will of the One Who Gives Existence to All that Exists and NOT according to man’s first love for “his freedoms”, for his desire to do what is right in his own eyes, for his desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).

    • JOE S HILL says:

      Well Said! because when we become foolish,or to act so foolishly,not caring about the consequences of any of our choices and actions,then we’ll learn,in one form or another! and while i certainly understand the attitudes of the many here,who will NOT bow to Terrorist threats to undermine their rights and freedoms to watch a movie,i sure hope that Sony Studios and Hollywood understand how this conflict got
      started,because to go this far,to provoke and mock a North Korean dictator,which “THE INTERVIEW” has chosen to do,as well as its studio,,then they better be ready for other attacks,because i fear seriously,that we may have caused a war here,which will have very dangerous consequences! many here,choose not to worship Jesus,because “The Preaching of the cross,is to them,which perish foolishness”,,and that’s unfortunate-but many in our country are going to learn the hard way,that abusing
      our precious freedoms,even the creative ones in Hollywood,will have consequences! “pride goeth before
      a fall”-and now,its only a matter of time,when we will reap the price for our ignorance! but,many here have to learn the hard way-and the ridiculousness of this movie,will certainly determine how much action
      that North Korea,or the Cyber Hackers,who whoever carried out these Cyber attacks,will do! either way,
      i sure hope it was worth it,because when we stoop to making movies about how to kill dictators,and to sell that as a comedy-and not give one damn about who’ll be offended,,then either way,we are going to know! but sadly,many choose to ignore,hate,and to disreguard Jesus-but this is prophesy being fulfilled,and in time,we will see the results of our choices-just as Hollywood will see the results of their
      choices,if they think that they are exempt from them!

  3. Anthony Lee says:

    200% agree and in support of the decision to launch the movie.

    • JOE S HILL says:

      If you can read and understand my comments,then so can other people! so YOU try doing a little open mindness my friend,,it makes a HUGE difference,instead of issuing insults to people,you don’t know!
      God is real,and so are the many consequences that exist,when we choose to do wrong! today,we celebrate the freedom to watch a movie,which amounts to nothing more,but a blatant attack on a dictator,
      who now has both cause,and reasons to despise Americans,because of our arrogance and irresponsibility-these are words that i’m sure you understand,despite my spelling,,so whatever you may think of my opinions,all you’re showing here,is an insult to highly valid comments,as my right to Free Speech demonstrates clearly! i do not support North Korea or the dictator in question,,but i do support this thing called common sense,because when we abuse our freedoms in this country,and go so far as
      to issue such an irresponsible and dangerous depictions of a dictator,who by the way,can still launch
      warheads at ANY major US city or territory,then we better make damn good and sure that we know the consequences,because this movie,reguardless of our freedoms,creative or otherwise,is both irresponsible and deplorable! we don’t have to agree with each other on this one,,but the next time we
      face an attack,which may likely be way different from from the Cyber attacks at Sony Studios,we can at
      least recall and remember how this mess was started-all because of an irresponsible movie studio,willing to risk putting this country and its citizens at great risk for reprisals and attacks! so the next time you are foolish enough to issue insults,please understand the argument,and very carefully! because while we are still America,our country has to take certain responsibilities for its choices and decisions-and the Threat of armed terrorism,whether it be big,obscure,or small,is NOT something to joke about! Sony and its studio
      people are fully aware of the risks they’ve chosen to gamble with,so for their sakes,i seriously hope that
      all of this,is serious overreaction-the days ahead,will tell!

      • Adam Vanderbilt says:

        yet another ‘thick as shit’ comment from JOE S HILL. English isn’t your first language is it, my mates and I are having a great time laughing at your stupidity

  4. diyana says:

    thumbs up!! i can’t wait to see the movie.

    • JOE S HILL says:

      I Think you and i understand our views pretty well,without resorting to profanity-is that your answer?
      i’ll be more then happy to provide you with more “humor” as you laugh at my stupidity,because when people like you have to act like a total asshole,who go looking for trouble-then tell me to my face in
      person how humorous i am,so that i can cure this problem,man to man,because if you don’t like my opinions,then that’s just Toughshit on you! the whole situation is stupid,,Hollywood has become an even
      bigger joke,with farces like this,and it still puts ALL Americans at risk,when we have the all out balls to poke fun at a communist dictator,and call this insult,a freedom of expression. if we can’t show respect,
      that we have to act so irresponsibly,and at the risk of causing a dangerous conflict,then we’ll get way more then we bargain for! if my spelling bothers you,then don’t read them-move along! but talking shit
      to people you don’t know,is dangerous business,,and the next time you attack my views,like some punk bitch with all mouth,and no balls,meet with me,and we’ll see who’s better then who! otherwise,don’t look for trouble,because i’ve made my opinions-and if you don’t like it,then Too Bad! go look for your laugh
      somewhere else friend,because i’m not worth the trouble! or get stupid,and land in serious trouble,your choice! i stand by my opinions,and that’s it! move along.

  5. John Shea says:

    And I applaud President Obama’s applause for Sony’s change of heart!

  6. JOE S HILL says:

    “Freedom has Prevailed”,,that’s Seth Rogen’s interesting point of view? for his sake,i hope he savours
    in his confidence,because this mess still doesn’t excuse the gross irresponsibility that Sony Pictures
    has chosen to do-and yet,under the guise of our “creative freedoms” to do whatever we like,or in this case,to,”to do to whoever we like”,,hope it was worth it,because the message we’re sending here,is that
    right or wrong,we’ll do as we please,and the devil with what anyone,or anybody thinks! our defiance is certainly predictable,,just as we can expect North Korea to do what it can,for our country to mock and insult this dictator,because it looks like we’ve decided to think with our pride here,instead of good common sense! yes,,i can hear the rage now-NOBODY tells Hollywood OR America what to do-and certainly NOT to the likes of North Korea and Kim Jong Un,,let’s remember this seriously,the next time we’re attacked,because by then,we’ll know for sure WHY we were attacked,and how this mess got started! risking Terrorist reprisals,ALL because of “creative freedom” to mock and make fun of an idiot dictator,when we’ve clearly shown that we could care less,,i hope this insanity was worth it-just to watch a stupid movie,that we’d chuck all our saftey down the drain-how stupid!

    • Adam Vanderbilt says:

      damn your comment is an abysmal mess. It’s like you copy and pasted words together and then just said “let’s just put commas EVERYWHERE “

      • Adam Vanderbilt says:

        JOE S HILL – So you couldn’t even come up with an original rebuttal you just copied what I said. How sad. Your comment IS a mess, you write like your speaking to a 12 year old valley girl. but thanks for the good laugh idiot

      • JOE S HILL says:

        Damn,YOUR remarks to my comments are an even bigger mess! but stupidity is obviously not in any short supply here!

  7. Will Jones says:

    All true Americans must boycott this JFK-assassinating, 9/11-committing, Sony-hacking, CIA/Mafia false-flag psyop marketing hoax.

    • Adam Vanderbilt says:

      Hi catfish photo,seriously you are a fool. No company is going to lose 200 million to market a 40 million dollar movie. I bet you complain to local councils everyday and poison your neighbours cats becasue they come onto your property you backwards hick.

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