In light of the recent mass shootings, Universal Pictures is temporarily halting its advertising campaign for the “The Hunt,” a forthcoming Hilary Swank-starring thriller that pictures a group of wealthy elites hunting down red-state “deplorables” for fun.
“Out of sensitivity to the attention on the country’s recent shooting tragedies, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers of ‘The Hunt’ have temporarily paused its marketing campaign and are reviewing materials as we move forward,” the studio said in a statement late Wednesday, HuffPost reported.
The announcement came after The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday that Universal was reevaluating its marketing strategy for “The Hunt” after back-to-back mass shootings over the weekend that claimed the lives of 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
“The Hunt,” a gory, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse, which was originally titled, “Red State Vs. Blue State,” follows a dozen red-state Americans who are kidnapped and released in a hunting ground to be stalked and killed by high-paying elites.
“Did anyone see what our rat[expletive]-in-chief just did?” one character asks early in the screenplay, THR reported.
“At least The Hunt’s coming up,” another character reportedly responds. “Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”
Over the weekend, ESPN pulled an ad for the film that it had previously cleared, THR reported. Without further explanation, an ESPN source told the publication that no spots for the film would appear on the network in the future.
“The Hunt” is due for release on Sept. 27.
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