Sony’s CEO Michael Lynton: “We Have Not Given In.”

Sony CEO Michael Lynton blamed theaters for the studio’s decision to pull out from the scheduled theatrical release of The Interview this Christmas. He told CNN in an exclusive interview that Sony had no other choice after a slew of theaters decided not to show the film.

President Obama called the entertainment company out earlier today for not coming to him before canceling the release, saying Sony “made a mistake.” Many saw Sony’s move as caving to terrorist demands.

“The President, the press and the public are mistaken about what actually happened,” Sony CEO Michael Lynton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “We do not own movie theaters. We cannot control what is shown.” Several major theaters, including Carmike and Landmark, announced they would not show The Interview after a hacker group threatened to attack any movie theater that showed the film.

Lynton had said earlier in Variety that, “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”

The cyber terrorist group, the Guardians of Peace, praised Sony for making a “wise decision” to cancel the release.

Many have asked Sony to mass release the film digitally.

“There has not been one major VOD, video on demand distributor, or major e-commerce site that has stepped forward and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us,” Lynton told CNN. He says Sony is currently looking at alternatives to release The Interview. Some have suggested Netflix as an option.

“We have always had every desire to let the American public see this movie,” Lynton said.