“The Most Dangerous Game” is a nearly 100-year-old short story about a rich person hunting human beings for entertainment that is commonly used to teach Freytag’s Pyramid to American seventh graders and is not very good but also not at all controversial. Killing humans for fun=bad. However, a twenty-first century spin on the tale has outraged Republicans who obviously did not do the assigned reading and therefore cannot understand that the reader/viewer is supposed to identify with the hunted and not the hunters, which has caused them to whine and bellyache on Twitter until Universal caved and threw the whole movie away.
The film, called The Hunt, stars Hilary Swank, Emma Robers, and GLOW’s Betty Gilpin and is set in a world where 12 people, called “Deplorables” in the trailer, from red states like Arkansas and Mississippi are kidnapped and hunted by the wealthy. Like the short story that inspired it, the film does not look very good, but it also does not look like a movie that would fuel outrage in any reasonable person.
Cue Donald Trump, who does not know the definitions of the words “racist,” “elite,” or many others, pretending to be apoplectic over the film’s subject matter in some nonsense Tweets:
“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!”
Instead of ignoring him like the rest of us try to, Universal decided not to release the film and instead released a nonsense statement of its own:
“While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our 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 this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”
Though the official trailer for The Hunt has also been pulled, the kidnapped Republicans in the movie are very obviously the protagonists, though it is easy to see how its detractors would not understand a film in which audiences were asked to see the wealthy as villains or empathize with human beings victimized by normalized violence.