– by Joseph Jammer Medina

On the heels of the tragic Dayton and El Paso mass shootings, it was decided by Universal that their film, The Hunt, would be shelved. Some concern from certain audiences and politicians indicated that violent films like it could potentially incite violence, though it isn’t clear that that’s the reason the studio canceled its release (it could have been simply out of respect and a desire to avoid a political headache).

The director of the satirical film, Craig Zobel, has been largely silent on the matter. However, speaking with Variety, he finally broke his silence, speaking out against the alleged concerns some audiences had with the movie — despite not having seen it.

RELATED – Universal Cancels The Release Of The Hunt — Censorship Or Courtesy? | Opinion

“If I believed this film could incite violence, I wouldn’t have made it … Our ambition was to poke at both sides of the aisle equally. We seek to entertain and unify, not enrage and divide. It is up to the viewers to decide what their takeaway will be … I wanted to make a fun, action thriller that satirized this moment in our culture — where we jump to assume we know someone’s beliefs because of which ‘team’ we think they’re on… and then start shouting at them. This rush to judgment is one of the most relevant problems of our time.”

The dude ain’t wrong, and it’s a bit ironic that, given the film’s message, that it ended up getting shelved for some of the reasons it was satirizing. At the end of the day, concern over violence in media isn’t a new thing, but given the current U.S. landscape, it has once again become quite the scapegoat.

What do you think of Zobel’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.