Universal Pictures has decided to cancel the release of its upcoming thriller The Hunt. Featuring a cast of Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Betty Gilpin and Ike Barinholtz, the film was earlier slated to release on September 27.

Craig Zobel’s directorial has been courting controversy in the wake of El Paso and Dayton shootings.

Revolving around a group of elite vacationers who are out to hunt blue-collar whites called “deplorables” for sport, The Hunt was criticised by conservative outlets in the US for alleged attacks against white people.

“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, ” a spokesperson for Universal said in a statement, quoted variety.com. “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.”

Earlier, the studios had halted the marketing campaign of the film following the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse Productions alongside Damon Lindelof under his White Rabbit flag.