The Honor Blog
Today is: Apr 10, 2020
Post From: Aug 11, 2019
The Premise of the Movie 'The Hunt' Is Appalling
A movie entitled 'The Hunt' is set to be released this September. I don't usually notice those things, but I came across this one by accident, when I saw a news article discussing the fact that ESPN thought it would be 'insensitive' to run trailers for the movie in the wake of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. I suppose we should be glad that ESPN was sensitive enough to realize that the premise of the movie is problematic. However, their decision is pretty much beside the point, because the REAL problem is that the movie exists at all. The central plot revolves around a group of liberal elites hunting 'deplorables' - that is, ordinary Americans with conservative values.
Yes, you read that right. This movie is about liberal elites hunting the kinds of people who voted for President Trump.
Now, it is worth pointing out that one of the functions of art is to allow people to explore very dark things - it allows people to bring evil, horrible things into the open in a way which allows them to be examined and understood. Indeed, the idea of hunting humans is not new - I remember reading the short story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell in high school, in fact.
It also is worth pointing out that there is some chance the movie is not as politically one-sided as it appears at first glance. The trailer suggests that one of the deplorables turns the tables on the elites. I am not sure how we might interpret that. Given the reality of the extreme left-wing political bias in Hollywood, however, I strongly doubt that the message will favor the 'deplorables'.
More importantly, it is ridiculous to ignore the fact that this movie is being created in a cultural context - a context which makes the very existence of this movie appalling.
One part of that context is that the political left (including those who participated in the creation of this movie) has spent roughly three years claiming that the coarse and boorish and insulting rhetoric used by President Trump is divisive, and is going to lead to violence.
Another part of the cultural context is that the perception of the political left is precisely the opposite of reality. The hate-filled rhetoric which is circulating in America at this moment is produced almost entirely by the left. The major news media and Democrat politicians are locked in a 24-hour cycle in which they berate and dehumanize President Trump and his supporters. Amongst the smears they do not hesitate to use are bigotry, racism, sexism, white supremacy, and even treason (stemming from the comprehensively disproven 'Russia collusion' conspiracy theory).
Really, there is no way to depict this other than hatred - the political left in America vociferously hates President Trump and his supporters. Consider that during the Obama Administration, a cartoonist drew President Obama with big ears and big lips, and the political left insisted that was entirely un-civil and unacceptable. Today, Democrat presidential candidates use words like 'white supremacist' and 'traitor' without blinking an eye. If anything, the entertainment industry is worse: Kathy Griffin ; Johnny Depp ; a New York Shakespeare company ; Rob Reiner ; and Bette Midler.
Worth noting is that I believe in free speech. I am not saying that this movie should be censored or shut down in any way. However, I repeat that the entire premise of the production is APPALLING. Consider that people in Hollywood actually pitched this proposal, that others accepted it, funded it, and performed it . . . a multi-million dollar motion picture does not just happen. That this movie went through the entire process and nobody asked whether this was maybe a bad idea . . . well, I guess I would say there is no longer any doubt about the depths their depravity has reached.
The entertainment industry has evolved from voicing its hatred for President Trump, to fantasizing about his assassination, to fantasizing about the murder of those who support him.
I suppose, in a sense, this film is serving the purpose of art. It is revealing something about human nature. In this case, what is being revealed is the hate and bigotry which currently is consuming the American left.
Perhaps the movie will surprise us. Perhaps the overall message will be something unifying, like "Hey, deplorables are people, too. Maybe we should stop fantasizing about killing them."
Somehow I doubt that.
UPDATE: Just before I published this blog post, I learned that Universal is canceling its release of the movie. In fact, I had written this post with a link included, then the link changed, less than five hours later. Here is the new link: The Hunt cancellation notice. I considered dropping this post, but - well, the reality is that I don't think the cancellation changes much. The movie was made - that reality has not changed, and that means what I have written remains true. And - well, all the statement says is "now is not the right time", which suggests that maybe they will put it out on streaming services or DVDs . . . which is not really the same as cancelled.