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Universal Cancels “The Hunt” After Mass Shootings in Ohio and Texas

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  • Following recent mass shootings in the U.S., Universal Pictures canceled the release of The Hunt, a movie where “liberal elites” hunt mostly Southern people from conservative states for sport.
  • President Donald Trump criticized the project on Twitter without naming it, saying “Liberal Hollywood is Racist,” and adding that the movie was created to “inflame and cause chaos.”
  • Many echoed concerns that the film promotes politically charged violence, but others said the canceling of a movie is less important than passing gun reform laws.

Universal Cancels The Hunt

Universal Pictures canceled the release of The Hunt on Saturday, saying “now is not the right time to release this film” after two mass shootings have increased political tensions across the country.

The Blumhouse film, starring Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and Emma Roberts was set to release on September 27. It was co-written by Damon Lindelof, who helped create shows like Lost and The Leftovers.

The trailer opens with Gilpin’s character walking into a gas station and killing the owners after they try to shoot her when she tells them she doesn’t know where she is. From there, Gilpin’s character learns she has been kidnapped and must survive while being hunted by a mysterious group of people.

The film frames itself as a satirical take on the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” and presents mostly white, working-class people from conservative states as the prey of “liberal elite” hunters who are killing them for sport.

“Your idea is incredible,” a male elite says in the film’s trailer.

“I can’t argue with that,” Swank’s character tells him. “We pay for everything, so this country belongs to us.” 

“It’s just business: hunting human beings for sport,” the man says.

“They’re not human beings,” Swank’s character responds before laughing.

Characters in the film also refer to the people being hunted as “deplorables,” a reference to a statement made by then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

“You know, to just be grossly realistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call a basket of deplorables,” Clinton said.

During development, the movie went under the working title Red State, Blue State.

Critics of the project said the movie stokes the current U.S. political divide with violence Before universal announced the movie’s cancellation, President Donald Trump agreed with that sentiment and denounced the movie.

The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos,” Trump tweeted. “[Liberal Hollywood] create[s] their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!

Universal’s Official Statement

The cancellation follows Universal’s decision to scrap promotional marketing only a week after releasing the trailer at the end of July. The trailer has since been deleted from the studio’s YouTube channel, but versions still exist online. The move also comes about a week after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

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,” the film’s website reads. “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.”

“I fully support the decision by Universal and the filmmakers regarding ‘The Hunt.’ It is a choice that I also personally felt was necessary,” Swank told USA Today after the cancellation. “I can’t comprehend the violence happening in our country right now. We should all focus on healing, and above all else, kindness, sensitivity and humanity.”

Universal hasn’t announced any plans to release the movie at a later date or in another way, though the cancellation has drawn parallels to The Interview, where James Franco and Seth Rogen infiltrate North Korea to kill Kim Jong-un. The film was similarly canceled back in 2014 after pressure from North Korea but is now available online for rent or purchase.

Responses

Following the cancellation, many still shared their concerns about the content depicted in the film, saying that violence does not mean satire.

Singer Charlie Daniels also referenced the belief that violent films and video games, in part, are connected to the increase in mass shootings across the country.

Actor Russell Crowe and others pushed back in different ways, saying that canceling a movie won’t solve gun-related issues the country already faces.

While I commend Universal and Blumhouse for their humanity,” the actor said. “This is not the solution.”

Crowe also tweeted that “any adult can still buy a military grade semi-automatic rifle.” While many adults can buy semi-automatic rifles, most can not access their military-grade variants.

Others still echoed similar thoughts.

See what others are saying: (Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline) (Washington Post)

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Bill Nye’s $28M Lawsuit Against Disney Headed to Trial

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  • Bill Nye will take Disney to trial under allegations that the company shortchanged him and his partners $28 million for his 1990s television series. 
  • The “Science Guy” claims that he is personally owed at least $9.4 million. 
  • Nye filed a complaint in 2017 and a Los Angeles judge just ruled that the case will go to trial.
  • The trial will take place in May 2020 over a span of 10 days, according to the ruling.

Judge Gives Green Light

Bill Nye, popularly known as the “Science Guy,” has been granted permission to take his case against the Walt Disney Company to trial.

Nye alleges that Disney failed to pay him and his partners $28.1 million in revenue from his hit 1990s television show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” He claims he alone is owed at least $9.4 million.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on Thursday that a 10-day trial will occur in May 2020 to address the allegations.

Multi-Year Process 

The television personality filed suit in 2017, questioning Disney’s Buena Vista Television, who handled the accounting.

According to the complaint, Buena Vista Television came to a written agreement with Nye and the other owners of the show in which they agreed to “promote, market, and distribute the show.” Nye and his partners said that under this deal they were entitled to 50% of the net profit, but were shortchanged. 

Nye said he became suspicious of the accuracy of his paychecks after Disney claimed they made an “accounting error” in 2008. At that time, the company insisted that he repay them thousands of dollars that they had sent him a few months earlier. 

“Bill Nye the Science Guy” ran on PBS for five seasons between 1993-1998 and was screened in classrooms nationwide for educational purposes.

See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (Fox News) (Hollywood Reporter)

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Cardi B Defends Offset From Cheating Accusations Citing Alleged Instagram Hack

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  • Sarah “Jade” Wattley, the girlfriend of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, recently showed a flirty DM sent to her from Migos Rapper Offset’s Instagram account. 
  • Soon after, Offset and his wife, rap superstar Cardi B, brushed off the rumors and explained that his account had been hacked.
  • It is unclear at this time if authorities have been contacted over the issue, but as of now, no person has been named responsible for the hack. 

Flirty DM Surfaces

Rapper Cardi B defended her husband Offset from cheating allegations Tuesday saying that a message he allegedly sent to another woman was actually the work of a hacker. 

The Migos rapper was recently accused of flirting with Sarah “Jade” Wattley, the girlfriend of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. 

In a video recently posted on Jade’s Instagram account, she recorded herself opening a direct message from Offet’s verified account. The message, sent at 1:36 a.m. read: “Miss u  fr.”

In the caption of her now-deleted post, Jade slammed Offset for the DM, saying: “Your wife @iamcardib has a OPEN CRIMINAL CASE , why are you writing me you don’t respect her ??????? Theirs a lot of s— I haven’t exposed yet , but there’s a time for that 😭😭😭🌈 I’m the QUEEN 👑 of talking s— now I’m backing it up 🎼😂🤡.”

The message sparked a wave of backlash from fans who noted that Cardi and Offset had already reconciled their marriage after previous reports of Offset cheating. On top of that, Cardi and Jade and known to have a tense history with one another.

Earlier this year, Cardi was indicted on 14 charges, including two counts of felony assault with the intent to cause injury after she was accused of ordering an attack on Jade and another bartender at a New York Strip club last year. 

Some reports indicate that the attack stemmed from rumors that Jade had slept with Offset, though Jade has denied having any relationship with him several times.  Another rumor suggests that the fight was prompted by a “drink being spilled on Cardi, whose actions have been described as ‘spontaneous and completely unpremeditated,’” the Daily Mail reports.

Cardi Defends Offset 

Cardi quickly defended her husband against cheating rumors, saying that his account was hacked. 

In a video posted on her social media, Cardi explains that they were woken up with news of the hack. In the background, another person is shown trying to regain access to Offert’s account. 

“Babe, I know you done some dumb s—, everybody know he’s done some dumb s—, but c’mon, n—s ain’t dumb, n—s ain’t crazy,” she said.  “We’ve been so good, we had a sweet weekend, life has been good,” Cardi added. “That’s why I ain’t getting no rowdy. Simple as that. Okay, love you guys.”

In additional videos, Offset explained that his email had been compromised, giving his hacker access to his account. He said he’s been dealing with this issue for months and has also had unreleased songs leaked because of it. 

Interset users also posted screenshots of tweets sent from his official account that seem to signal a potential hack. 

Still Jade hit back at the hacker claims saying, ‘the hack started after you got exposed.” “Why it didn’t start at 1 am,” she added.

If Offset and Cardi’s claims are true, it is unclear at this time if authorities have been contacted over the issue. As of now, no person has been named responsible for the hack. However, celebrity social media hacks are by no means uncommon and have been known to even impact major executives, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 

See what others are saying: (E! News) (XXL Magazine) (PEOPLE

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Celebrities Praise Pop Star Kim Petras for Posing in Front of Anti-LGBTQ Protestors

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  • After billboards for singer Kim Petras suddenly appeared near the Westboro Baptist Chuch headquarters, the church asked members to picket outside of the transgender singers’ Kansas City concert.
  • Petras responded by holding a photo shoot in front of the protestors while dressed in a black thong bodysuit and thigh-high boots.
  • Fans and celebs have since flooded Petras’ social media with praise and support for her response. 

Westboro Baptist Church Calls for Protest 

Celebrities are praising transgender pop star Kim Petras for trolling Westboro Baptist churchgoers who were protesting outside of her show in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday. 

A few weeks before the concert, four Kim Petras billboards suddenly appeared in Topeka, Kansas where the headquarters of the infamously anti-LGBTQ church is located. Though it was unclear who was responsible for the suspiciously placed signs, the singer seemed to approve of the move. 

The church, which is known for its inflammatory hate speech, later issued a statement calling for its members to picket outside of her Kansas City show. In the statement, the church repeatedly misgenders her and calls her a “sad soul.”

But Petras hit back with a statement of her own.

In a social media post, Petras wrote, “this is my official statement on wbc picketing my show in kansas tomorrow. this is the energy i’m bringing n it should be yours too.” The post also featured a video compilation of Petras meeting fans and performing in music videos over Famous Dex’s track “Hoes Mad.”

Kim Petras’ Photo Shoot 

Members of the ultra-conservative church followed through on their promise to protest and stood outside the venue holding signs like “God still hates f**s.” 

But Petras once again fired back with a unique response. The singer took the opportunity to hold a photo shoot in front of the protestors. In a video posted to her social media, Petras drops her coat and poses in a black thong bodysuit and thigh-high boots while the picketers stand in the background. The caption on the post reads, “update: hoes still mad…” 

View this post on Instagram

update. hoes still mad …

A post shared by KIM PETRAS (@kimpetras) on

The comments under her Instagram post quickly flooded with support from fans and fellow celebrities. Demi Lovato commented “YAAASSSS,” while Katy Perry wrote “Icon.” 

“Stay winning bb girl,” Madison Beer responded, with Tinashe writing “Yuppppp.”

James Charles simply commented “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA,” meanwhile Tyler Oakley added, “This is holy to me.” 

According to Insider, when asked for a comment about Petras’ post the Westboro Baptist church said it’s “happy” that Petras is “helping get the following message from Christ out to the masses,” and included a Bible excerpt of Matthew 19:4-6 in its email.

See what others are saying: (Insider) (Uproxx) (Entertainment Tonight

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