Obama on 'The Interview': "I'm Glad It's Being Released"

Barack Obama Press Conference - H 2014
AP Images

Barack Obama Press Conference - H 2014

The president, who had earlier criticized Sony, didn't reveal whether he will watch the movie himself

With Sony's The Interview now streaming as a pay-per-view offering online and about to open in theaters tomorrow, President Barack Obama, in his first public comments about the latest developments, said today, "I'm glad it's being released."

The president, who is vacationing in Hawaii, was asked, after he finished up a golf game, if he planned to watch the movie himself. He responded only by saying that he was pleased the movie has gotten a release. A pool report noted that the president appeared to be in a good mood, joking with the reporters following him that they should avoid fruity drinks because they can be deceptively strong.

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Last week, Obama criticized Sony Pictures, saying it "made a mistake" when it canceled its original plans for the movie's wide release on Dec. 25. Stung by that criticism, Sony execs regrouped and put together a new release plan, offering the movie on a pay-per-view basis on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox and its own web site and opening it in about 300 theaters tomorrow.

On Dec. 23, when the studio first announced its new plans for the movie's release, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, "As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression. The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome."