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Seth Rogen The Interview Sony

Sony retaliates over Obama’s criticism for pulling The Interview’s release in wake of North Korea hacking row

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By Jessica Davies, News Editor

December 20, 2014 | 3 min read

Sony has responded to US president Barack Obama’s comments that it “made a mistake” in pulling the Christmas release of The Interview, in the wake of a debilitating cyber attack allegedly sourced from North Korea.

The film, which is a satire centring on an assassination plot against North Korean president Kim Jong-un, was due to debut on Christmas day, but was dropped by cinema chains after the FBI linked North Korea to the source of the Sony hack attack.

President Obama told US reporters yesterday (19 December) at an end-of-year press conference that he “wished” Sony had consulted him before making a decision, and that now the FBI had linked North Korea with the hacking attack, the US “would respond”.

However, Sony Pictures boss Michal Lynton has reportedly dismissed the notion that the company bowed to the pressure and is actively looking for alternative methods of distribution, given the initial cinema chains which were to run the film backed out.

Lynton told The Telegraph the studio had not “caved in”, and added that he did reach out to the White House, adding “the White House was certainly aware of the situation”.

In his first public comments made on the scandal Lynton told CNN: "I don’t know exactly whether he (Mr Obama) understands the sequence of events. In this instance the president, the press and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened.

The US president wasn't the first to criticise Sony for pulling the film's release - earlier this week the action drew scathing responses from other Hollywood studios.

The PR fallout has been heavy since Sony cancelled the release. The Drum has published four major lessons to learn when handliing a PR crisis here.

The interview stard James Franco and Seth Rogen (pictured).

UPDATE: Since the writing of this story North Korea has hit back at the accusations it was behind the Sony attack, and has called for a joint investigation into the entire affair.

The North's foreign ministry accused the US government of "spreading groundless allegations" and said a probe would refute the allegations, according to the BBC.

Seth Rogen The Interview Sony

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