Universal Pictures said it is canceling the release of “The Hunt” following intense backlash from conservatives, and President Donald Trump, over the supposed politically charged violence in the feature film.
“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,” a Universal Pictures representative told The Hill in a statement.
“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 R-rated movie apparently follows a group of elites hunting other humans for sport and was set to hit theaters on Sept. 27, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Saturday, Aug. 10 announcement came a week after three deadly mass shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, a day after President Trump lambasted Hollywood in an allusion to the film.
“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. 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!” the president tweeted.
Other social media users seemed to echo President Trump’s sentiments, highlighting the increasingly heated debate on gun culture in America and the most recent mass shootings.
“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 wrote.
Directed by Craig Zobel, “The Hunt” was written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse. The movie stars Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank. Their characters reportedly represent opposite sides of the political divide.