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Universal cancels ‘The Hunt,’ ESPN delays Apex Legends stream in wake of mass shootings

Both depict gun violence.


Sierra Juarez

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 11, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 6:44 am CDT

After the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, Universal Pictures has pulled the plug on The Hunt, a controversial movie about wealthy elites hunting rural conservatives. The film company says it is simply not “the right time” in wake of recent mass shootings, according to Polygon.

The decision also comes after President Donald Trump indirectly criticized the movie in a tweet on Friday. He called Hollywood the real “racist” over the movie.

“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.”

The company had already put a pause on marketing for the film after a combined 31 people died in the two mass shootings–which happened merely 13 hours apart from one another. The trailer featured stars Betty Gilpin and Ike Barinholtz with guns.

In the film, the liberal elites hunt the “deplorables,” a possible reference to Hillary Clinton calling Trump’s base this during the 2016 campaign. In turn, the “deplorables” begin attacking the elites. The movie was intended to be a satire and commentary on mass shootings and political divisions in the nation.

But neither side of the aisle was too pleased with the movie. While Trump voters don’t like the depiction of violence against conservatives, some liberals have also decried the movie because it makes viewers sympathize with the Trump-style characters, according to Vox.

Some think that Universal shelving the project isn’t a good move. They say that pulling a movie because of Trump’s criticism could set a “precedent for censorship.” Others doubt that not showing the movie, which depicts gun violence, will have an impact on the number of mass shootings.

Universal wasn’t the only company to pull a project after the mass shootings. ESPN announced Friday that it would postpone an Apex Legends stream because of the game’s depiction of gun violence, according to TMZ

The Hunt was slated to be released on Sept. 27.


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*First Published: Aug 11, 2019, 11:37 am CDT