Universal has canceled the planned September 27 release of “The Hunt,” a horror film that faced major backlash in recent days.
A Universal Pictures spokesperson told Fox News in a statement about the release cancellation, “While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film.”
The statement continued, “We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”
The film is apparently being taken off of the release schedule due to the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. “The Hunt” follows a group of people kidnapped and hunted for sport by the ultra-rich. It stars Academy Award winner Hillary Swank, was directed by Craig Zobel and written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse.
“The Hunt” faced backlash recently from conservative fans who felt it was glorifying violence against what Hollywood thinks are typical Trump supporters — the kidnapped protagonists are mostly Southern and all poor.
“Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables,” a character says in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Deplorable” is, of course, the controversial description Hillary Clinton used in 2016 when she was talking about Trump supporters.
In their coverage of the movie, The Hollywood Reporter also described the characters being hunted for sport in the flick as “MAGA types.”
“Interesting how everyone in Hollywood is screaming gun violence yet at the same time releasing a film called “The Hunt” where people are hunting deplorables and killing them. Hollywood when are you going to take responsibility for your push of violence into the minds of youth?” conservative musician Kaya Jones tweeted about the movie.
Interesting how everyone in Hollywood is screaming gun violence yet at the same time releasing a film called “The Hunt” where people are hunting deplorables and killing them. Hollywood when are you going to take responsibility for your push of violence into the minds of youth ?
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) August 10, 2019
Following backlash to the film’s trailer and reports of the “deplorables” line, President Donald Trump slammed Hollywood as biased. Though he never said “The Hunt” by name, it is likely he was responding the film as he referred to “the movie coming out” at one point.
“Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate! They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite,” he tweeted.
The president added, “The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!”
Many others also took to social media to slam the film’s concept.
“I just read a report on the movie ‘The Hunt’ that comes out soon. this is why I can’t pick a side. A movie about rounding up a group of ‘deplorables’ and HUNTING them is ok? Put all the gun laws on the books but we’re entertained by a movie about killing Trump supporters,” one user tweeted.
Another responded, “Universal is releasing a horrific movie about hunting down people called ‘The Hunt.’ They pulled the ads but they have not stopped its release. Absolutely irresponsible movie and [it] fosters hate and [the] killing of people who don’t believe the same as the hunters.”
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