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The controversially delayed 2020 movie The Hunt depicts an event where a bunch of rich liberals appear to kidnap a bunch of "deplorables" (with alt-right views expressed on social media) and then hunt and kill them apparently in retaliation for their "regressive" views.

The setup for the movie seems to show a text conversation where the liberals discuss the "hunt". This is leaked to the media (as part of an investigation into some unrelated malfeasance by a corporate executive) and seems to result in a bunch of executive sackings.

The conversation seems to validate that the "Hunt" is real. But, towards the end, the lead antagonist claims that it was never real until the corporate sackings had happened and the whole idea of doing it for real as revenge was originated.

Is that claim credible? Was the original conversation just a joke or was the antagonist just trying to escape her fate?

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Assuming you take the characters at their word, it would appear that the series of events shown in The Hunt were the first time they had happened. I think the fact that they had enlisted help from a serviceman (albeit a National Guardsman) indicates that they were inexperienced in how to do this. While picking out who to hunt, there also seemed to be enough indecision on "the rules" that it was likely the first time they had done it.

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