Trump's Apparent Interest in 'The Hunt' Follows Heavy Fox News Coverage

Universal
A still from Universal's 'The Hunt' trailer.

"The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos," the president tweeted Friday. "They create their own violence, and then try to blame others."

Without using the film's name, President Donald Trump appeared to attack Universal's upcoming R-rated film The Hunt on Friday in comments at the White House and on Twitter. After telling reporters that "Hollywood is racist," the president took to Twitter and sharpened his attack on the satirical film, in which elites hunt so-called deplorables for sport.

"The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos," Trump wrote Friday afternoon. "They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!"

The president's attacks on the film follow heavy coverage on two of his favorite television networks, Fox News and Fox Business Network.

A little more than two hours before Trump attacked Hollywood and said that "with the kind of movies they're putting out, it's actually very dangerous for our country," a segment on the morning show Fox & Friends lambasted Jason Blum's film. (The film was also discussed on Thursday morning's episode of the morning show.)

"After all the shootings, though, just the timing of this," co-host Ainsley Earhardt said. "I don't know. These are people, they're hunting down people. That's the premise of this."

About 15 minutes earlier, one of the president's favorite hosts, Maria Bartiromo, discussed the movie critically on her Fox Business show. "I'm just wondering if it's going to encourage more backlash against conservatives," she said. "Is it another call to act? It's crazy."

The Hunt was also discussed on the early morning show Fox & Friends First. "At the end of the day, [the elites] look at us as deplorables," guest Zachery Ty Bryan said. "They look at us as racists and bigoted evil people. When you can dehumanize a side or a group that supports Trump in this case...you can do anything, so why not hunt them like you would animals?" Even earlier in the 5 a.m. ET hour, the show featured tweets criticizing the film, including one calling it "the most disgusting and terrifying thing I've ever heard."

But, perhaps the most searing takedown came from Fox Business host — and informal Trump adviser — Lou Dobbs, who Thursday night called the film "a sick, twisted new movie." After telling his viewers about the film's plot, he said, "This is fiction, but it sounds a little like reality, doesn't it?"

Earlier in the day, the film was discussed during Bret Baier's 6 p.m. news show. A guest panelist said, "Only in Hollywood would someone look at a script like this and think, 'This is a good idea. We should make this movie.'"

The film was strongly criticized during a segment on Thursday afternoon's Outnumbered Overtime. "This sounds like a truly awful film," media critic Howard Kurtz said.

And, Thursday morning, news anchor Bill Hemmer hosted a segment on advertisements for the film being pulled, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

The first prominent mention of the film on Fox News came during opinion host Laura Ingraham's primetime show Wednesday night. "It sounds like it's something that should have been already pulled from production," she said.

In addition to being spotlighted on network programming, The Hunt has been advertised on Fox News, including a placement last Friday night on Tucker Carlson's highly watched show.

The Hunt, directed by Craig Zobel, is a thriller from Blumhouse and Universal that's set to open Sept. 27.  But, on Wednesday, Universal said in a statement, "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."