Universal Pictures is canceling the release of The Hunt following a backlash that was seemingly fueled by President Trump.
As reported by Variety, the studio broke the news via their Twitter account, where they shared a link to their official statement.
“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.”
The film, which was set for release next month, has been a source of heated debate due to its controversial subject matter. A riff of The Most Dangerous Game concept, the film follows a group of wealthy hunters who chase down people in rural America for sport.
As noted by USA Today, the film’s cancelation comes just one day after President Trump appeared to criticize the movie, while accusing the left-leaning contingent of Hollywood of racism.
According to the president, a movie — which many are interpreting as The Hunt — was made to incite violence.
“They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!” Trump said.
While Trump did not name the film specifically, his tweets just so happened to coincide with a backlash surrounding The Hunt following recent mass shootings.
Earlier this week, Global News reported that ads for the movie had been pulled as a result of the recent gun attacks. The marketing campaign featured stars such as Betty Gilpin and Ike Barinholtz brandishing assault rifles and pistols while taking on a group of hunters.
Universal Cancels ‘The Hunt’ Release https://t.co/KicG1fILhn
— Variety (@Variety) August 10, 2019
The general consensus claimed that releasing the film now would be insensitive to the victims of the shootings, but others voiced concerns over its satire.
As the Global News report notes, the politically divisive nature of the movie caused some of the backlash. In the movie, the hunters are liberals and the persecuted party are deplorables.
This isn’t the first time a movie has been scrapped in recent times because of mass shootings. Last year’s Death Wish was originally held back for the same reason. Trump didn’t voice his disapproval of that film.
At the time of this writing, it is unknown when The Hunt will be released.