Film producer Jason Blum knows his audience when it comes to blockbusters, but for award acceptance speeches, he doesn't as well.

By Maura Hohman
November 07, 2018 12:22 PM
Advertisement

Film producer Jason Blum knows his audience when it comes to his hit horror movies, but for award acceptance speeches, he can still be taken by surprise.

The Blumhouse Productions founder and CEO, 49, was honored on Tuesday — the same night as the highly anticipated midterm elections — at the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles as the recipient of the event’s 2018 Achievement in Film and Television Award. Perhaps inspired by the political headlines dominating the evening, Blum decided to criticize President Donald Trump when he took the podium.

After referencing his recent box office successes, Halloween and Insidious 4, Blum began, “A lot is on the line, the last two years have been hard for all of us who cherish the freedom as citizens of this country.”

As the crowd started to swell with a mix of cheers and boos, he continued, “The great thing about the country is you can like Trump, but I don’t have to … I get to say how I feel about him. I don’t like him, and you can boo all you want, and that’s the great thing about America. As you can see from this auditorium, we have seen the end of civil discourse.”

According to Variety, some people even walked out of the theater amid shouts of “We like Donald!” Then, a man walked onto the stage and attempted to force Blum off. After security was called, he left and Blum was able to conclude, “Enjoy the movie, and I love and respect all of you. Now I’m being physically removed, which is why Trump is not the right guy.”

In the wake of the surprising response (Hollywood is notoriously liberal), Blum tweeted that the “night went kinda haywire” before sharing the rest of his intended speech in full.

Picking up from his comment about civil discourse, the producer wrote, “We have a President who calls the Press the enemy of the people. Nationalism is surging. Dog whistle politics are rampant and anti-Semitism is on the rise in ways my generation never thought imaginable. The Internet has become a place where people can vent their rage and spew hate anonymously. It is helping bigotry thrive. The truth is, hate speech breeds violence. It dehumanizes. It demonizes. And ultimately, it targets. What we saw in Pittsburgh was a horrific example.”

Next, Blum encouraged people who work in film and television to actively try to stop discrimination and other forms of prejudice: “[We] have a vital role to play in telling stories that portray all kinds of people from all corners of the world. Stories that entertain, but also make us think more and harder about who we are and where we are going … This is a time for all of us to examine our values and decide what we are willing to tolerate. It is time to be accountable.”

He concluded, “If we are not accountable, we may wake up one day in a country we don’t even recognize. Let us all hope that today’s election starts to chart a different course — not just for the U.S., but for the world.”

This is far from the first time Blum has used his platform to voice his distaste of the 45th commander in chief’s policies. In November 2017, he told PEOPLE at Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York City that he would happily open his wallet for Trump to see Get Out.

RELATED VIDEO: Jamie Lee Curtis Talks Halloween in 2018

“I would bet any amount of money he had not seen it, but I’d pay any amount of money for him to see it,” Blum said, before clarifying, “Well, not any amount.”

Get Out, for which Blum was nominated for an Oscar, follows Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young black man who travels with his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to meet her parents and spend a weekend at their remote, suburban home where Chris slowly discovers something isn’t quite right about the goings on in the neighborhood.

“Unfortunately our country has gone in the reverse direction than we were hoping it would have gone in terms of our relationship with racism, and I think the movie touched a nerved and really reminded people of in a different way,” Blum mused. “And I think that kind of explains how it went from a successful movie to something else.”

Halloween is now playing.