Hollywood stars have reacted with dismay after Sony cancelled the release of The Interview, a comedy film about a plot to kill North Korea’s leader.
Ben Stiller called the move “a threat to freedom of expression”, while Rob Lowe called it a “victory” for hackers who launched a cyber attack on Sony.
Hackers issued a warning to cinema-goers who planned to watch the movie.
President Obama recommended that “people go to the movies”, but stressed that the hack was “very serious”.
Speaking to US television network ABC, he added: “We’ll be vigilant – if we see something that we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public.”
Sony said it has no further plans to release the film internationally, including as video on-demand.
Several other famous names have criticised the decision to shelve the movie, accusing the studio of caving in to the hackers’ threats.
Oscar-wining screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who has already attacked the media for spreading information leaked by the hackers, said: “Today the US succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech.”
Actor Steve Carell called the move a “sad day for creative expression”.
On Wednesday it emerged that Carell’s planned film project, a thriller called Pyongyang about a Westerner working in North Korea, was scrapped ahead of Sony’s announcement.