Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards pitched Universal Pictures to film movies in Louisiana, to which the motion picture studio filmed the controversial film The Hunt, which reportedly featured liberal elites hunting and killing “deplorables” for sport.
Universal Pictures canceled Saturday the controversial film, The Hunt, in the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, as well as President Donald Trump’s condemnation of the film and “liberal Hollywood” as racist and violent. In a statement over the weekend, Universal Pictures claimed that the film amounts to a “satirical social thriller.”
Universal Pictures filmed The Hunt in New Orleans, Louisiana, earlier this year. The studio selected the location only a few months after Democrat Gov. Edwards traveled to Hollywood to discuss Louisiana’s controversial film tax credit program and raise money for his reelection campaign. Edwards met with Universal Pictures and other studio executives in Los Angeles, California, in October 2018.
Edwards’ pitch to Universal Pictures, which led to the filming of The Hunt, could serve as a potential controversy for the governor, as he remains up for reelection in October. Gov. Edwards will likely face Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) in the general election, who has strongly backed the president during his time in Congress and on the campaign trail.
The Louisiana gubernatorial election serves as a particularly important election, given that this race serves as one of three gubernatorial elections in this cycle and Louisiana is on the only state in the south that has a Democrat governor. A June poll found that Abraham and Edwards have tied in the Louisiana gubernatorial race.
Abraham, in an interview with Breitbart News Sunday, said that Edwards is “proud to be a Democrat. Abraham told Breitbart News Sunday host Matthew Boyle in July:
He [Edwards] is proud he voted for Obama. He is proud he voted for Clinton. And just think about it: He will be voting for one of these radicals over President Trump in 2020. Louisiana, it is the pre-game to President Trump’s re-election. It is that big of a deal. Certainly, the Democrats desperately want to keep the governorship here. They want to show that their radical message can work in a state that overwhelmingly voted for Trump and is overwhelmingly Republican. We are not going to let that happen. It’s going to be a huge blow to the Democrats when I win this race.
Gov. Edwards has yet to respond to a comment from Breitbart News over whether he plans to condemn the film, over whether he had prior knowledge of the film’s controversial nature, and whether he agrees with the president that the film was inciting violence against Trump supporters.
Edwards signaled to Hollywood that Louisiana was open for business for more movies to be filmed in the state.
“The message that I received loud and clear out there is that they really like Louisiana — they like doing business here, and they have renewed confidence in the stability of the motion picture tax credit,” Edwards said in October 2018.
Edwards said that he felt optimistic about the visit, even though he did not announce any specific new projects coming to Louisiana.
“Quite frankly, they are very pleased about Louisiana,” Edwards said. “They all told me they appreciated the fact that I, as governor, went out and visited with them personally — it makes a difference.”
After Edwards’ visit to Hollywood, many studios donated to his gubernatorial campaign.
One report from the Washington Free Beacon found that Edwards’ campaign received $5,000 from Sony Pictures, $5,000 from Quixote Studios, $5,000 from the Motion Picture Association of America, $5,000 from Manhattan Beach Studios, $5,000 from Disney, and $2,500 from Paramount.
After The Hunt movie inflamed controversy, Trump slammed Hollywood for stoking violent political rhetoric.
President Trump slammed “Liberal Hollywood” as the “true racists” and decried The Hunt for attempting to “inflame and cause chaos.”
“Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate! They like to call themselves “Elite,” but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite,” Trump said. He added, “The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country”:
….to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.