Lewis Morris / August 13, 2019

Canceling ‘The Hunt’

The film is seen by some not as derisive of flyover folks who live outside of New York and LA but as sympathetic.

It was the one-two punch of near-simultaneous mass shootings and President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack that forced Universal Pictures to indefinitely postpone the release of its upcoming film, “The Hunt.” The premise of the film, in which several red-state conservatives find themselves hunted by a group of rich elites, at first glance sounds like a leftist revenge fantasy.

“The Hunt” is seen by some not as derisive of flyover folks who live outside of New York and LA but as sympathetic. In the film trailer, which is not for the squeamish, elites are seemingly portrayed as evil. Indeed, it would take a rather sick mentality to kidnap people based entirely on their political viewpoint and then hunt them for sport. The victims in this film are so-called “deplorables” who take up arms in their own defense. It’s even been suggested that “The Hunt” is, in fact, a pro-Trump satire. Could that be why Universal pulled it?

In truth, “The Hunt” didn’t stand much of a chance after the dual tragedies of El Paso and Dayton. It was already under fire for its “progressive revenge fantasy” plot. Universal halted its marketing campaign for the film but originally intended to stick with its September release date. That changed after President Trump’s withering tweets pointed out Hollywood’s hypocrisy for producing violent content while laying blame at others for violence in the country.

“The Hunt” may not be the movie President Trump and some others think it is, but either way, it would not be the first film to make a buck on our political and social divide. And it is probably not completely dead. Universal will still release “The Hunt” at a later date. Some ardent Trump supporters hope it is soon. They firmly believe the film’s message is sympathetic to the Right.

Controversies over such films ultimately make people more curious about said film, thereby making it more popular, which is obviously what the opposition doesn’t want. “The Hunt” will eventually be released in some format somewhere. Whether it will still be a hot-button topic by that point remains to be seen. But not releasing it will not stop mass shootings, nor will it make political opponents more civil to each other.

There are bigger fights to be had than this one.

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