Universal Pictures cancels ‘The Hunt’ release after criticisms

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Universal Pictures has canceled the release of “The Hunt,” a satirical thriller about a group of Americans who are captured to be hunted and killed for sport.

It follows criticism by President Donald Trump and recent series of mass shootings.

The Comcast Corp division had held back on marketing the film, slated for release on Sept. 27, after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last week, reports said.

Universal said in a statement that: “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.”

Trump criticised the movie on twitter saying; “The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.”

Trailers released online for the film depicted a group of wealthy villains orchestrating the open-field hunting of several Americans held against their will.

The film came from Blumhouse Productions, which has produced a number of popular horror films such as “The Purge” and “Get Out.”

The Hollywood Reporter, citing details in the film’s screenplay, reported earlier this week that a character at one point called the people being hunted “deplorables.”

In 2016, then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said half the supporters of her Republican rival Trump belonged in a “basket of deplorables” of people who were racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic or Islamophobic.