Editorial

‘The Hunt’ Has Ads Pulled Following Mass Shootings

The Hunt (Credit: Screenshot/YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8IifEu67yU)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Some advertising for “The Hunt” has been pulled after two recent mass shootings in America.

The upcoming horror film is about wealthy Americans hunting other people, and it actually looks very solid. However, the massacres in Dayton and Texas that left dozens dead has forced the studio to reevaluate the marketing strategy.

The Hollywood Reporter reported the following Tuesday:

While one high-level Universal source says the studio has pulled some ads that are beginning to air and appear online “for content and placement,” others say the matter is still under discussion internally. A major ad blitz on television and the web had been planned for the beginning of September, says one insider. A trailer is already online.

Given the fraught political climate — particularly in the wake of the attack in El Paso, which was motivated by anti-immigrant bigotry — studio sources say Universal is evaluating its plans in what one called “a fluid situation.”

I completely understand Universal’s decision here to pull back from the table in the aftermath of two horrific shootings.

Now, I’m sure some people want to blame violent movies or video games, which is a category “The Hunt” falls into. However, that’s a lazy a dumb take.

 

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The reality is that you don’t want to come off as insensitive after a tragedy. It happens all the time in the entertainment business.

“American Horror Story” famously changed scenes after the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. Sometimes, it’s just smart business to not smash the advertising button when the content might be painful for some people.

Now, that doesn’t mean violent films are the issue. I don’t think they are at all, and I think “The Hunt” could be an outstanding film.

 

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What’ll be very interesting is to see whether or not the film’s late September release date gets pushed back. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was.