Donald Trump is on the warpath against “racist” and “dangerous” Hollywood again today, but Tinseltown thinks this is just the latest straw dog in the incumbent’s re-election efforts to ignite his base on the back of an upcoming thriller flick.
“Pardon my French, but this guy is all bullshit all the time,” a top producer with deep political associations told Deadline on Friday after the former Celebrity Apprentice frontman lambasted Tinseltown first on the White House South Lawn and then on social media. “A couple of weeks ago it was Congresswoman Omar and the Squad Trump was assailing, then it was Baltimore and Elijah Cummings, then it was video games and now it’s Hollywood,” the industry heavyweight added. “Is it any coincidence that he has a fundraiser today? This is more base baiting.”
Already attracting a backlash from gym rats and NFL fans, Equinox, SoulCycle and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is hosting a $250,000-a-ticket event for Trump today in the Hamptons. With that event and another deep-pocketed get-together later bringing in an even bigger haul than expected, the GOP chair reveled online, with thanks to the opposition:
Thanks to the unhinged mob on the left, @realDonaldTrump raised $12M today, $2M more than originally expected.
The support for our President is unprecedented and growing!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 9, 2019
It was the remarks about such opposition the former casino boss made earlier Friday on his way to the fundraisers that left Tinseltown bruised and angry. “Hollywood — I don’t call them the elites; I think the elites are people they go after, in many cases,” declared Trump in a free wheeling de facto press conference this morning as Marine One waited to lift off. “But Hollywood is really terrible,” he added.
“You talk about racist — Hollywood is racist. What they’re doing, with the kind of movies they’re putting out — it’s actually very dangerous for our country,” Trump also said in a clear reference to Universal’s ultraviolent The Hunt, which already has seen its marketing moves yanked after the El Paso and Dayton killing sprees. “What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disturbance to our country,” claimed the once Emmy nominee.
Trump followed up on Twitter a couple of hours later:
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. The movie coming out is made in order….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
….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
“I bet he saw one of his pals on Fox [News] ranting about The Hunt and now he believes Hollywood wants to hunt down conservatives,” another insider said today after Trump’s Molotov cocktail comments to the press and on Twitter. “He could at least wait until the movie comes out and not buy into just the promotional campaign,” the insider added, venturing that The Hunt might do even better at the box office now because of the blowback from Trump and others on the right.
Still set to come out on September 27, the controversial movie starring Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin takes the partisan divide to a very visceral place by seemingly depicting so-called “deplorables” being hunted by apparent globalists. It’s no surprise to anyone, then, that the Damon Lindelof- and Jason Blum-produced pic was all over Fox News Channel the past few days – and we know how the FNC viewer-in-chief often snags his talking points from the Murdoch-owned cable newser.
Hosts such as Trump favs Lou Dobbs, Fox & Friends‘ Ainsley Earhardt and Maria Bartiromo all put The Hunt under the media microscope in recent days as the film even had an ad run during Tucker Carlson’s well watched primetime show late last week.
While The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld basically called out the whole thing as much ado about nothing and said the film is a “satire,” a guest on FNC said the flick was another one of those “sick murder fantasies about right-wingers.”
Contacted by Deadline, Blumhouse Productions had no comment on Trump’s assertions or the flak around The Hunt film. Universal did not respond to request for comment.
“This is just Trump shooting his mouth off, trying to put the entertainment industry on the back-foot,” lamented the A-list producer of the president’s latest hijacking of the culture and news cycle and its implications in a nation of frequent mass shootings and hate crimes. “I’m surprised anyone takes this seriously, but we have to now with emboldened white supremacists and madmen out there.”
What’s seemingly not to be taken seriously are POTUS’ remarks that “all of the heads of the biggest companies” would be meeting at the White House – at least not in terms of Hollywood.
Just by the nature Trump’s sometimes wayward thought process and the fact that not a single studio, streamer or network that Deadline spoke with said they had received an invite or call from the administration, it seems that 45 was over-speaking on himself. As revealed in the past hour by the Press Office, there indeed was a meeting today at the White House — but it was “with social media and technology leaders.”
Answering an initial query about conservatives who were “banned on Twitter,” Trump leaped into the Hollywood smearing with more non sequitur than nuance – hence the confusion on that point.
What is not to be confused is that deeply Democrat supporting Hollywood is back in Trump’s spotlight and the GOP are on the hunt for 2020.