The release of the much-anticipated Universal Pictures movie, “The Hunt,” a satirical thriller about a group of Americans who are captured to be hunted and killed for sport, was canceled on Saturday after harsh criticism from President Donald Trump and the recent mass shootings in the U.S.
The Comcast Corp division had originally scheduled the movie to be released on September 27, but decided to delay their marketing efforts on the film after the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, indicating in a statement on the movie’s website that the studio thought it was not “the right time” for the film to be released.
“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,” Universal said in a statement. “The Hunt” was created by Blumhouse Productions, the producer of a variety of popular horror films including “The Purge” and “Get Out.”
President Trump did not miss the opportunity to react on his social media account, criticizing “liberal Hollywood” about the release of an unnamed film with a pending release on Friday. The trailers released for the film online showed a group of wealthy villains and their joy in participating in the open-field hunting of Americans that had been kidnaped and held against their will.
“The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos,” Trump tweeted. “They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true racists and are very bad for our Country!”
The Hollywood Reporter is cited as saying that details in the film included one character who even went as far as to call the people being hunted “deplorables.” The line is obviously referring to when 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that half of the supporters of her Republican rival Donald Trump belonged in a “basket of deplorables” of people who were racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, or Islamophobic.
In addition, trailers for the movie featured heavy use of firearms, which have been seen online in several media reports, while the U.S. is still reeling from the mass shootings in El Paso, where 22 people, including many Hispanics, were killed.
“The Hunt” may be “canceled” for now, but that is not uncommon in the industry for movies and TV shows to be delayed for political reasons or due to similarities to current events – especially negative ones -and to be released at a later date once the incident and its effects have died down.