Published On: Sun, Aug 11th, 2019

The Hunt: Release of controversial film cancelled in wake of US mass shootings | US News

Universal Pictures has cancelled the release of a controversial satirical film in the wake of recent mass shootings in the US.

The Hunt, a gory thriller starring Hilary Swank and Emma Roberts, is about a group of liberal “elites” who hunt conservatives for sport.

One of the hunters also refers to the victims as “deplorables” – a word used to describe Trump supporters by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election campaign.

Firearms heavily featured in the trailer for the film, prompting criticism from Donald Trump and conservative commentators.

Without referring to The Hunt by name, the US president tweeted about a “movie” that had been “made in order to inflame and cause chaos”.

A statement from Universal, which is owned by Comcast, the owner of Sky, said: “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.”

It is still possible that the movie will be released in cinemas or put on streaming sites at a later date.

A source told the Associated Press that Universal Pictures had discussed cancelling The Hunt prior to Mr Trump’s comments.

Actress Hilary Swank attends the 72nd Locarno Film Festival on August 10, 2019
The film stars Hilary Swank

On Friday, the president had written: “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!”

When he later spoke to reporters, Mr Trump added: “Hollywood is really terrible. What they’re doing, with the kind of movie they’re putting out, it’s actually very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country.”

Trailers for The Hunt had appeared online in the aftermath of mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio.

Last week, 22 people – many of them Hispanic – were killed in El Paso when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart on Saturday.

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