The release of the film’s first trailer that led to it being perceived as a portrayal of liberals hunting conservatives led to a furor of negativity, including the President alluding to it in a pair of tweets referring to “Liberal Hollywood” as “racist at the highest level” and that “the movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.” The unfortunate timing of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio occurring a day apart though and less than a week after the trailer debuted led to it being shelved for a while.
After a recent press screening of the newly-imminent film at which Blum was in attendance, he shared his thoughts on the initial controversy, saying:
“My overwhelming [feeling], after my being surprised, was trying to figure out how we could get the President to see the movie. That was my biggest thing that I was thinking about at that time. And I would love the President to see the movie.”
Co-writer Damon Lindelof followed him with similar sentiments, explaining:
“My overwhelming feeling then was what it is now, which is that I wished that he had seen it. The movie that he was talking about was not the movie that I feel that we made. It was the movie that was being reported on. And so if he had said, ‘This is a piece of shit. I’m sorry I wasted my time,’ that would have felt better because at least he was talking about the movie.”
Whether the President will actually watch it is another matter entirely, but even if he doesn’t, that in no way means he won’t comment on it, as he’s not exactly renowned for being shy about making declarative statements on subjects of which he has absolutely no understanding, merely expressing verbal clickbait that appeals to the ill-informed opinions of the lowest common denominator of his fanbase.
It’s a certainly that when The Hunt is released next month it’ll cause controversy, but we can only hope that it will also lead to conversations about the dangers of jumping to conclusions before all facts are known, and perhaps make some people acknowledge that an us-and-them mentality of dismissive generalities is never a productive stance, regardless of which side of the aisle you stand.