President Obama to Sony: “You Made a Mistake Pulling ‘The Interview'”

President Obama to Sony: “You Made a Mistake Pulling ‘The Interview'”

This afternoon, President Obama gave his annual year-end press conference where—among numerous other topics—he discussed Sony’s decision not to release The Interview in the wake of a North Korean-sponsored hack of Sony’s computer system.

While Obama typically tries to toe the line on such hot-button issues, he took a firm stance with regards to Sony’s actions. “I am sympathetic to the concerns that [Sony] faced,” he said, but then added “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

He followed that up by saying “We cannot have a society where some dictator some place can impose censorship in the United States.” The President also pointed the finger at Sony in particular, saying “I wish they had spoken to me first. I would have told them do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks…That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.”

He also found some humor in the fact that this was how North Korea chose to attack the United States, and that a satirical comedy movie with “Seth Rogen and James Flacco [sic]” was sufficient to make them feel threatened. “It gives you the sense of what kind of regime they have,” he said.

Obama would not specify what sort of response the U.S. would level at North Korea, saying only that they are “working up a range of options” and that it will be “proportional.”