Advertisements have been pulled from an upcoming satirical horror film in which elites hunt and kill “deplorables,” amid intensifying political hostility and following a string of mass shootings that have traumatized the nation.
The plot of the Universal Studios movie “The Hunt,” which is slated for a September release, follows wealthy thrill-seekers who travel to a five-star resort where their mission is to hunt and kill designated humans.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Studios is now reconsidering its strategy after the recent mass shootings at the Gilroy Garlic festival in California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The studio’s reevaluation came amid reports that sports network ESPN had removed a trailer for the movie that was previously approved for air.
“The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse [production company] follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals,” The Hollywood Reporter noted.
Characters in the movie that are considered prey for the hunters are referred to as “deplorables,” a term former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used to describe supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
“Did anyone see what our ratf—-er-in-chief just did?” one character in the movie asks, making an apparent reference to President Trump.
“At least the hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables,” another character replies.
“The Hunt,” which features Oscar winner Hillary Swank, was originally titled “Red State vs. Blue State.” Among the deplorables in the film — who were pre-selected to be murdered — were those who voiced opposition to abortion.
“The script for ‘The Hunt’ features the red-state characters wearing trucker hats and cowboy shirts, with one bragging about owning seven guns because it’s his constitutional right. The blue-state characters — some equally adept with firearms — explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter,” The Hollywood Reporter added.
The outlet noted that some studios didn’t want to touch the movie because of its content and cited a filmmaker who questioned the wisdom of making a film of this kind given recent events. A Universal Studios executive said in response that the film is satire, and is intended to show “what a stupid, crazy world we live in” and that the movie may now prove to be even more powerful.
After conservative news outlets reported about the movie’s themes and its ads being pulled, the left-leaning website Snopes — that claims to fact-check news reports — gave an “unproven” rating to the claim that the film will feature liberal or left-wing characters hunting Trump supporters for sport.
“How exactly did anyone think this was a good idea even before the El Paso and Dayton shootings?” political author Matt Margolis asked in an op-ed published by PJ Media, referencing violent attacks in the past few years on Republican politicians, such as Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
In a segment on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Catholic author and journalist Raymond Arroyo said the movie is disgusting and should be pulled, particularly in light of the ongoing tension surrounding gun violence.