UPDATE: Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton has responded to President Barack Obama's criticisms in an interview with CNN. He said Sony had "no alternative" to pulling the movie, and that they "would still like the public to see this movie. Absolutely."
"We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered, we will not back down," he said.
EARLIER: Well, there's one person who probably would have signed George Clooney's petition given the chance. President Barack Obama said in a press conference today that Sony's decision to pull "The Interview" from its theatrical and home video release was "a mistake."
"I am sympathetic to the concerns that [Sony] faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake," he said.
The international attention surrounding the "Interview" controversy has reached a new peak with Obama's statement to the press. A hacker group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace began leaking massive amounts of employee and corporate information from Sony weeks ago, blaming the upcoming release of "The Interview," which depicts the fictional assassination and humiliation of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The situation escalated earlier this week, when the group issued a message threatening a 9/11-style attack on any theater that dared show the movie, including the premieres.
Sony pulled the movie from its planned December 25 theatrical release, and cooperated with further demands from the group, which U.S. intelligence has found to be linked with North Korea, demanding that all trailers and clips from the movie be pulled from the internet and airwaves.
"I wish [Sony] had spoken to me first," Obama told assembled press.
Obama warned that capitulating to the demands of the North Korean group set a bad precedent for future "costly" and "serious" acts of cyber attack.
"We cannot have a society in which some dictators some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States," Obama said. "Because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don't like or news reports that they don't like. That's not who we are. That's not what America is about."
More on this story as it develops.