Universal Pictures has canceled the release of an upcoming film that shows “liberal elites” hunting down so called “deplorables” following widespread criticism regarding the film’s premise.
In a statement on its website, the film company wrote, “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. 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.”
For an update on The Hunt, please go to: https://t.co/ouS8Giq1Si
— Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) August 10, 2019
The movie, “The Hunt,” which was slated to hit theaters on Sept. 27, shows people hunting down “deplorables,” a term failed-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used to describe supporters of Trump during the 2016 campaign.
A screenshot of Universal Picture’s “The Hunt” website on Aug. 10, 2019. (The Hunt website)
The producers of the movie garnered extensive backlash after its promotion. Many people took to social media to express their outrage.
“The problem isn’t guns. The problem is hate-mongering,” wrote one Facebook user.
“And…from the “tolerant left” comes more incitement for violence – a movie about liberal elites hunting @realDonaldTrump supporters – apparently mass murder continues to be a feature of @TheDemocrats – they accept violence as acceptable political speech,” added a Twitter user.
“This is tragedy exploitation and incitement to violence it is not satire,” added another person, referring to how “The Hunt” is supposedly satirical.
“I’m not sure Hollywood signaling that American liberals want to or should murder their political opponents is the way to go in an election year but hey that’s me,” another person said.
According to the official description, the movie, which is rated R, shows 12 strangers waking up in a clearing. “They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen—for a very specific purpose—The Hunt.”
“In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal, knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman at the center of it all,” the description said prior to the website being updated.
The movie stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and Emma Roberts, was written by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof, directed by Craig Zobel, and produced by Blumhouse Productions.
Universal previously put a pause in marketing following the two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas last weekend. ESPN pulled an advertisement for the movie over that weekend while AMC aired an ad on Aug. 4—the day of the Dayton, Ohio shooting.
President Donald Trump slammed the entertainment industry on Aug. 9 highlighting the racism in Hollywood in a series of tweets seemingly targeted at “The Hunt.” However, the president did not identify the movie by name.
“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 wrote on Twitter on Aug. 9.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
“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!”
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.