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Trump criticizes Hollywood amid controversy over political satire ‘The Hunt’

President Trump talks to members of the media outside the White House on Friday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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President Trump took another swing at “Liberal Hollywood” on Friday afternoon, describing people in the industry as racist and “full of great Anger and Hate!”

“They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite," he tweeted. “In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite.”

He also argued that an upcoming movie intends “to inflame and cause chaos.” The tweets echo words spoken to members of the media outside the White House earlier in the day, when he also described Hollywood as racist and “the kind of movies they’re putting out” as a “tremendous disservice to our country.”

The movie in question is most likely “The Hunt,” directed by Craig Zobel (“Z for Zachariah”) and written by Damon Lindelof (TV’s “Lost,” “The Leftovers”) and Nick Cuse (a writer on the latter series). Produced by Blumhouse Pictures, “The Hunt” follows a group of self-described “normal folk,” portrayed as gun-toting white people from red states, who find themselves in a sort of Hunger Games run by liberal “elites.”

“Your idea is incredible,” a rich man says in the trailer. “It’s just business, hunting humans for sport?"

“They’re not human beings,” responds a sleekly dressed woman played by Hilary Swank. She also states that the country belongs to rich people like herself because “we pay for everything."

The violent trailer for “The Hunt,” set for a Sept. 27 release, has already attracted backlash from conservative media, which has widely interpreted the movie as a depiction of liberal people hunting Trump supporters. But in a Thursday episode of Fox News’s “The Five,” co-host Greg Gutfeld argued that the backlash has been overblown because the fictional “deplorables” might win out in the end.

“Can I defend this?” he said. “This is an old idea, ‘The Most Dangerous Game.’ There’s a lot of movies about hunting humans, and we have no idea who becomes victorious in this. This is a satire.”

Universal Pictures suspended marketing for “The Hunt” this week in the wake of shootings in Dayton, Ohio, El Paso and Gilroy, Calif. The Hollywood Reporter noted that other studios have made similar moves in the past, such as Warner Bros. pushing “Collateral Damage” after 9/11, or MGM delaying the “Death Wish” remake by several months after 58 people were shot and killed in Las Vegas in October 2017.

At the Friday media gaggle, Trump said Hollywood treats “conservatives, Republicans totally different than they treat others, and they can’t do that.” He made no mention of his longtime gig as host of NBC’s “The Apprentice” and its “Celebrity Apprentice” spinoff.

The Washington Post has reached out to Blumhouse and Universal for comment on Trump’s remarks.