The Hunt promotional campaign has been paused due to the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. The movie is about rich people hunting fellow Americans and the marketing hits a little too close to home after the recent shootings, which left at least 35 people dead and injured many more. Blumhouse and Universal have decided to cease all TV ads for their upcoming movie and released a statement detailing their reasoning. The statement reads.
"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 Hunt was already controversial before the shootings took place. A movie with political undertones where privileged individuals hunt those who they deem "lesser than" is coming out in a time when our country is heavily divided. With that being said, The Hunt is still on track for its September 27th release date and the studio has no plans of changing it, as of this writing. Things could change in the coming weeks, but for now, everything is on track for the original release date.
This isn't the first time Hollywood has had to adjust their movies due to tragedies. The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack saw the release dates shift for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage because it had scenes featuring terrorism. Sony pulled marketing for Spider-Man because it used imagery of the Twin Towers and Men in Black 2 went in and completely removed the Twin Towers from the sequel. The Death Wish remake was postponed following the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. Blumhouse even had to move the release date of Happy Death Day 2U after its release date fell on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting. Sadly, this isn't a new phenomenon.
The recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California have brought up the gun debate in America once more. President Donald Trump did not call out movies, but he did call out violent video games and mental illness to be partly for blame, while others believe that there should be stricter gun laws. Regardless, the United States is still struggling with mass shootings as they seem to occur more frequently now than ever before. The fight against gun violence isn't going to be solved any time soon.
The Hunt centers on rich liberals who pay a lot of money to hunt conservatives on a high class hunting ground. 12 conservatives learn they have been kidnapped and set free to be hunted. The trailers for the movie aren't overly violent, but they do depict people being put in the crosshairs, so its understandable that Blumhouse and Universal would want to pull marketing for the time being. Blumhouse is the cash cow for Universal since they have been churning out hits with such small budgets recently. Deadline was the first to report about The Hunt pausing its marketing due to the recent mass shootings.