- Ted Johnson
Trump Blasts Hollywood As 'Racist,' in Apparent Response to Coverage of Universal's 'The Hunt'
Updated: Aug 10, 2019
President Trump called Hollywood "racist" and said that the movies being made by the entertainment industry were "very dangerous for our country."
He later lashed out again on Twitter, apparently focusing his outrage over the premise of an upcoming Universal release called "The Hunt," which has gotten extensive coverage on Fox News platforms. Such figures of the right like Diamond & Silk also have been blasting the movie.
Trump wrote, "Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate! They like to call themselves “Elite,” but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite. The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!"
Universal pulled ads for "The Hunt" in the wake of the Dayton and El Paso shootings. The movie is billed as a satire in the vein of "The Purge." The trailer sets up its premise, in which rich elites hunt down "deplorables" for sport. The movie is scheduled to be released on Sept. 27. The movie stars Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank, and it is produced by Jason Blum.
Earlier, when Trump spoke to reporters on the White House lawn on Friday, he was asked a question about Twitter, but ended up criticizing Hollywood. A number of prominent figures have called him racist in the wake of a recent series of tweets and the recent shooting massacre in El Paso.
"You talk about racist, but Hollywood is racist," Trump told reporters. "What they are doing, with the kind of movies they are putting out, it actually is very dangerous for our country." He did not mention "The Hunt" or any other movie to reporters, leaving to some speculation as to what instigated his attack on the industry.
He also said that the entertainment industry treats conservatives "totally unfairly." Republican figures in showbiz have long complained that they fear that speaking out about their political views will jeopardize their careers.
Trump also talked about Hollywood "doing a disservice to our country," in their treatment of conservatives.
The White House also claims that Silicon Valley companies have a bias against conservatives, and Trump recently held a gathering on the topic of social media, and he has met with tech executives.
He told reporters that the "heads of the biggest companies" were headed to D.C. for a meeting, but he may have been referring to additional gatherings with Silicon Valley executives.
A summit on online violent extremism is scheduled for Friday at the White House, but Trump is not attending. Sources say they have not heard of any meetings planned between Trump and Hollywood studio leaders.
Update: Universal Pictures on Saturday said that they were canceling their plans to release the film.
"We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with the satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release the film."
What has gotten lost in much of the coverage is that so many criticizing the movie have not seen it. Based on descriptions of its plot, the "deplorables" are not the villains --- the bad guys are the elite rich folk who are hunting them down. But in this heated, polarized social media environment, these types of controversies take on a life of their own.
Last year, Universal Pictures grappled with the backlash to "First Man" over complaints that it did not feature a scene of Neil Armstrong planting the U.S. flag on the moon. The movie was critically acclaimed but was a box office disappointment.