Obama on Sony Hack: "I Might Have Called the Movie Theater Chains"

Barack Obama Press Conference - H 2014
AP Images

Barack Obama Press Conference - H 2014

Obama went on CNN to discuss the studio pulling 'The Interview'

President Obama appeared on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday to discuss Sony's decision to cancel The Interview's release.

He told Candy Crowley that, had he been in contact with Sony execs, he could have personally reached out to the theater chains that dropped the film after hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack.

Read more Could Sony Have Released 'The Interview' If It Wanted?

"I was pretty sympathetic to the fact that they have business considerations that they got to make," Obama said about Sony. "Had they talked to me directly about this decision, I might have called the movie theater chains and distributors and asked them what the story was."

Obama said he does not consider the hack to be an act of war. "I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive," he said. "We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately, as I said."

In a Friday press conference, Obama said Sony "made a mistake" by shelving the film and that the studio execs should have "spoken to me first. I would have told them do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks." Sony CEO Michael Lynton responded by saying the studio had been in contact with the White House.

Read more Sony Deletes 'The Interview' Social Media Pages

Sen. John McCain also appeared on CNN on Sunday, where he referred to last month's Sony hack as a "manifestation of a new form of warfare."

On Friday, the FBI announced that North Korea was responsible for the cyberattack. North Korea has denied responsibility and asked the U.S. to participate in a joint investigation into the incident. 

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@pgmedia.org
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski