Movie execs reportedly pulled ads for a horror film where US elites hunt 'deplorables' for sport after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton
Universal Pictures executives reportedly pulled ads for a horror movie about liberal elites hunting "deplorables" from the rural US in the wake of mass shootings.
The studio pulled both TV and online promos for movie, which is called "The Hunt," The Hollywood Reporter said, citing a senior studio source.
The decision followers mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, which roiled the US.
In "The Hunt," the super-rich kidnap people considered "deplorables" — code for Trump voters — and track them down to be killed.
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Movie executives reportedly pulled ads for a new horror film about liberal elites hunting "deplorables" for sport, an apparent response to the two mass shootings which roiled the US over the weekend.
Universal Pictures pulled TV and online advertisements for "The Hunt," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet cited a senior studio source.
"The Hunt," due for release on September 27, focuses on a remote woodland mansion where US elites come in secret to hunt humans for sport.
In the movie, the victims of the hunting and kidnapping are described as "deplorables" — a label strongly associated with Trump supporters since the 2016 presidential campaign.
The plot revolves around a "deplorable" who turns the tables on the elites, "picking them off, one by one, as she seeks to find out who's at the centre of the web."
The Hollywood Reporter's source does not describe the reasoning for pulling the ads in detail.
But images of gratuitous violence against unarmed targets — which is evident from the movie's trailer — took on a new dimension as two mass shootings over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, dominated the news agenda.
A Universal source told The Hollywood Reporter that discussions over "The Hunt" are "a fluid situation."
A high-level executive reportedly said the project is considered a satire "addressing an issue of great social importance."
Other networks have reportedly moved against the commercial on their own initiative.
ESPN pulled at least one TV commercial for "The Hunt" on August 3, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, adding the network will not air any more commercials for the movie, citing a source.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, one scene in "The Hunt" shows elite liberal characters choosing their victims because they used a racial slur against black people on Twitter.
"The Hunt" is directed by Craig Zobel, and produced by Jason Blum, who produced the dystopian drama "Get Out."
The movie's protagonist is played by "GLOW" star Betty Gilpin, while the evil linchpin is played by Hilary Swank. Emma Roberts also stars.
An unnamed filmmaker who has worked with Universal told The Hollywood Reporter: "Employees in different departments were questioning the wisdom of making such a movie in these times."
"In light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?"
Business Insider has contacted Universal Pictures and ESPN for comment, but is yet to receive a response.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A pair of Air Jordans can resell for up to $2,000. Here's why these iconic Nike sneakers are so expensive.