“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” the President added. Oh snap!
It didn’t have much of an impact when Hollywood cried “foul” over the decision. But the President? Now Sony had one more problem to add to the other 99 on its plate.
So what do you do when the President calls you out in front of the world? Throw the message machine in reverse.
The first announcement that The Interview was going to be pulled said simply, according to CNN, “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film.” (It looks like something has happened to the @TheInterview Twitter feed and deleted all the tweets.) Sounds pretty definitive. Though I have to say, I did suspect that once all of this blows over, Sony would come up with a way to release the movie.
Now Sony is saying they always planned to get the movie to people, they just don’t know how yet. One option is through Crackle, the company’s own online site.
The company is juggling a lot, but coming up with an alternative for how to distribute its film should’ve been one of the first thing executives did after this whole brouhaha began. Time and again, Sony looks like it’s reacting to everything that’s happening to them. Now that we’re more than a week into this crisis, it’s time for the company to come up with some ways to be proactive and get out in front of this issue. Rebuilding its reputation and its relationships to both the entertainment community and others should be a priority. Maybe now that the Internet seems to have been disrupted in North Korea, the company will have a chance to get a handle on this situation. Though North Korea has denied having anything to do with the hack, and a number of experts say it probably wasn’t them. Sigh.
Here’s the entirety of the company’s statement. Sony’s attorney David Bois also appeared on CNN on Friday to address the issue.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is and always has been strongly committed to the First Amendment. For more than three weeks, despite brutal intrusions into our company and our employees’ personal lives, we maintained our focus on one goal: getting the film The Interview released. Free expression should never be suppressed by threats and extortion.
The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation’s theater owners choosing not to screen the film. This was their decision.
Let us be clear –- the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters, we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice.
After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.