By Yavuz Yener
Sony and some movie theatres agreed on Tuesday to release the controversial movie, The Interview, on Christmas Day.
U.S. President Barack Obama is very supportive of this decision. He had earlier stated that it was a mistake to cancel the release of the film, highlighting the risk that “dictators can start imposing censorship” in the U.S.
His spokesman Eric Schultz said, “As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression.“ He also added, “The decision made by Sony and participating theatres allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome.”
Sony has been under harsh criticism due to recent cyber attacks on its computer systems. On November 22, hackers exposed many embarrassing e-mails about some movie stars and the executives of the company. Although North Korea was accused by the FBI (The Federal Bureau of Investigation), after investigating the incident, to be behind the leak, it denied such accusations but praised it as a “righteous deed.“
In the aftermath of the attack, it was discovered that the scope of hacking had not been limited to emails and personal information, but included TBs of several unreleased films. After the hacker group “Guardians of Peace“ threatened Sony and movie theaters planning to show the movie, leading cinema groups in the U.S. and Sony decided to cancel Christmas Day release.
On December 19, it was concluded by the FBI that the attacks on Sony had originated from North Korea. Following the accusations of the Bureau, Mr. Obama also called the cancellation decision was “a mistake“ by citing freedom of speech and free expression of artistic values.
On December 22, North Korea suffered a severe internet outage. Although the usual suspect was the U.S., most experts uttered that the U.S. would not take part in such an obvious assault, and even if it did, the effects would not be perceived before it was too late.