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22 Dec 2014 14:51
Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive, Michael Lynton, said the Hollywood studio did not make a mistake in pulling the film "The Interview."
Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton, speaking in a lengthy interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, was responding to
comments made by President Barack Obama that the studio erred in shelving the
film after cinemas refused to show it following unspecified threats from hackers.
“In this instance the president, the press and the
public are mistaken as to what actually happened,” Lynton said in his first
public remarks since the cyberattack began last month. Earlier on Friday, Obama said Sony should have released the film
and not bowed to pressure from hackers.
“I wish they [Sony] would have
spoken to me first,” Obama said. “I would have told them, ‘Do not get
into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.’”
Lynton said he personally talked to senior White House advisers, who were
“certainly aware of the situation.” But he did not speak with Obama.
Lynton told Zakaria he was surprised that none of the other major
Hollywood studios came to Sony’s aid during the cyber-attack and their
struggles to release the film. “It did make
this entire enterprise to be a very, very lonely affair,” Lynton said.
Lynton said Sony Corp had “no alternative” but to pull
the screwball comedy about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader
Kim Jong-Un because movie theatre chains said they would not screen the film.
“We have not caved, we have not given in, we have
persevered and we have not backed down,” Lynton said.
“We have always
had every desire to have the American public see this movie.” Lynton, who
worked previously at book publisher Penguin Press, contrasted Hollywood’s
response from the support the publishing world offered Penguin when Iran’s
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for the death of novelist Salman
Rushdie in 1988.
“The publishers, the booksellers always
stocked the book and the authors all came out in support of the book,”
The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, was set
to be released on December 25. -Reuters
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