Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton has stepped forward to let both President Obama and that handsome asshole George Clooney know that no, his company did not make a “mistake” by pulling The Interview from theaters. “We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered, and we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie,” Lynton said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria conducted immediately after President Obama called Sony’s decision “a mistake.”

Lynton defended the decision by saying that the studio had “no choice” but to cancel The Interview’s theatrical release, originally planned for Christmas Day, after most of America’s major theatrical chains opted out of screening the film in the wake of terrorist threats. Lynton also said that he had actually contacted the White House and spoken with senior officials—if not Obama himself—presumably in response to Obama’s statement that he “wish[ed] they’d spoken to me first.”

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Backtracking on earlier statements that Sony would not be releasing the film in any form, Lynton went on to say that “It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so” and that the studio is still looking into alternate ways of releasing the movie. This is in defiance of a message sent by hackers earlier today promising that the leaks of Sony’s internal data would stop “unless you make additional trouble,” i.e. release The Interview.

Asked if he regretted making The Interview, Lynton replied, “I would make the movie again.” After all, you can’t buy this kind of publicity. Lynton’s interview will air on AC360 this coming Sunday.

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