Shortly after Donald Trump ignited a media firestorm when he censured Hollywood during a White House appearance on Friday, Aug. 9, the president reiterated his controversial statements on social media. Trump's tweets calling Hollywood racist came shortly prior to the cancelation of the Universal Pictures film The Hunt, which is the movie that he was seemingly referring to in his tweets. Elite Daily reached out to the White House and Universal Studios for comments on whether or not this was the movie he was referring to and if the president's comments affected the cancelation, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Shortly after reporters questioned the president on reports that the FCC plans to regulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube during a press conference at the White House on Friday, Aug. 9, the president shifted the conversation topic as he said, "You talk about racist. Hollywood is racist." In tweets posted shortly after the press conference, Trump vaguely referred to a specific "movie coming out ... made in order to inflame and cause chaos." A report from Vanity Fair made the case that the movie Trump was referring to was an upcoming satirical thriller called The Hunt.
While he didn't name the film by moniker, he continued, "What they're doing with the kind of movies they're putting out, it's actually very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country."
Later that day, the president didn't back down as he took to Twitter to reiterate his statements.
"Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate," he tweeted on the social media platform. "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."
Trump continued by claiming that the film was "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!"
Blumhouse Productions' The Hunt, which stars Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, and Betty Gilpin, focuses on a group of "liberal elites" who reportedly hunt conservative characters for sport. A Fox News pundit had slammed the film's concept shortly before Trump's remarks about Hollywood.
Just one day later, Universal Pictures announced that it had canceled the release of the film, per an Aug. 10 statement shared with Entertainment Weekly:
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.
While the film, which was originally titled Red State Vs. Blue State, didn't name those that were hunted as Trump supporters, many of the so-called "deplorables" were described as touting pro-life and racist views, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The studio's decision to pull the film reportedly comes in light of the deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Gilroy, California, which left more than 30 people dead and dozens more injured. One filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio had misgivings about debuting such a violent and politically charged film, which featured characters shooting up the "deplorables" in large numbers, amidst the recent attacks.
"Employees in different departments were questioning the wisdom of making such a movie in these times," he told the publication. "In light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?"
At this time, it's unknown whether the president's comments contributed to the decision to cancel the potentially divisive film or whether the studio plans to release it at a later date, but it sounds like The Hunt will be indefinitely on Universal's back burner at least at the time being.