President Barack Obama
is pleased Sony has decided to release
"The Interview" in some theaters, after earlier bowing to pressure from a cyber-attack blamed on North Korea
, the White House said on Tuesday.
"The president applauds Sony's decision to authorize screenings of the film," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.
"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," Schultz said.
On Friday, Obama had called Sony's decision to pull the $44 million (roughly Rs. 279 crores) movie a mistake, suggesting it could set a precedent in which "some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States."
Congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as Hollywood luminaries such as George Clooney, had also assailed the canceled release, with some accusing the studio of self-censorship.
Franco and Rogen, who also co-directed the film, broke their silence after Sony made the announcement.
"The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed!" Rogen said, while Franco added, "VICTORY!!!!!!! The PEOPLE and THE PRESIDENT have spoken!!!"
Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton said the studio was looking for more options to screen the film, which major U.S. theater chains pulled because of threats from hackers who warned of a September 11, 2001 style of attack.
Lynton said in Tuesday's statement: "We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day." He said the studio, a unit of Sony Corp, was trying to secure other platforms and more theaters "so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."
Edited by NDTV staff from original story by Reuters
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