Sony chief executive Kaz Hirai addressed Sony’s troubles related to the release of the film “The Interview” head-on at the beginning of the company’s annual press conference at the International CES 2015, the big tech trade show happening this week in Las Vegas.

Hirai said the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s private employee emails and the attempt to shut down the release of “The Interview” were “one of the most vicious and malicious cyberattacks we have known in recent history.”

Hirai went on, saying he was proud of how Sony employees reacted under the stress of the event and “stood up against extortionist efforts and worked tirelessly to bring ‘The Interview’ to audiences.” He said that he was proud to see that freedom of speech won and “The Interview” made it to both theaters and online.

The movie, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is a comedy about how a couple of naive filmmakers are asked to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, during an interview with him. Hackers went after Sony over the movie’s subject matter and threatened to attack theaters that showed the film.

But, despite surfacing embarrassing emails, the hackers didn’t succeed in shutting down the film’s debut.