When I glanced at the news about President Obama having clearly said that Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision to yank The Interview was “a mistake,” I had to get off the northbound New York State Thruway and post something. SPE is now the first movie studio in Hollywood history to be chastised by a U.S. President for turning yellow in response to threats from cyber terrorists in the employ of a foreign power. Okay, that’s a mouthful so let’s simplify. It’s the first time a Hollywood studio has been respectfully spanked by a U.S. President about anything, if I’m not mistaken.
“Sony’s a corporation, it suffered significant damage, [and] there were threats against some of its employees,” Obama said. “I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”
Five’ll get you ten Obama was on the phone with George Clooney not long before he spoke.
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because 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 a news report that they don’t like.
“Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.”
SPE chairman Michael Lynton replies to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: “We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered. We would still like the public to see this movie. Absolutely.” He stated that President Obama, the press and the public “are mistaken as to what actually happened. We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters.”