A week after the deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Universal Pictures has officially canceled the release of its thriller ”The Hunt”. As per the initial planning, it was supposed to hit theaters September 27.
Universal did not confirm whether the decision is related to the latest events. The production studio also did not give a new date for the release.
”The Hunt” is an R-rated movie which includes guns, violence, and blades. It is produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse. Starring Hillary Swank and Betty Gilpin, the film tells the story about twelve strangers who wake up in a clearing and turns out that they are targeted by violent hunters.
In the already released trailer, the narrator states that each year ”elites” kidnap average Americans from Republican-voting states such as Wyoming and Mississippi for sport. In the trailer, we could see the main characters brandishing assault rifles and pistols while talking to a group of future hunters.
The studio management said in a statement that it supports by its filmmakers and it would continue working with bold and visionary creators. However, it admitted it was not the right time to release the movie.
The Universal studio’s announcement to cancel the release of ”The Hunt” comes only a day after President Trump aimed the film on Twitter. Without mentioning the movie directly, the President blamed the ”liberal Hollywood” of being racist at the highest level.
In Trump’s words, although Hollywood likes to call itself elite, it was not the case. The President said that actually, the people who opposed Hollywood were the Elite. Trump also added that some movies created their own violence and hate, and then they blamed the others.
Trump was not the first one to criticize the movie. Even before he joined the discussion, the film already sparked a public outcry on social media because of the promoted gun violence.
In the past week following the deadly mass shootings, many U.S. companies responded to the events by reducing the amount of violent media and games shown to the American people.
For instance, Walmart confirmed it would pull displays of violent video games in its stores, including the one in El Paso. However, the store would continue selling guns and video games.
The TV channels ABC and ESPN decided to delay the airing of an esports tournament showing people fighting with firearms in a VR environment. The competition already took place at the beginning of August, but the networks would postpone its air coverage to October.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the decision of Universal Studios to cancel the release of ”The Hunt”?