Activists Call for ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Boycott After Alleged Abuse Video Surfaces
A dog's purpose? Not being thrust into raging rapids and allegedly abused while filming a new movie, activists insist.
TMZ posted a video yesterday (January 18) that featured a german shepherd being forced into a simulated riptide by a handler during A Dog's Purpose filming. Shot in November 2015, the footage finds the dog struggling to stay out of harm's way, and clawing to the sides of the pool to remain safe. Repeatedly, the handler tried to submerge the dog.
"Just gotta throw him in," one voice says from out of frame. "He wants to get away. Just throw him in."
Immediately, PETA reps took action, and told Variety it was urging animal lovers — and generally decent people — to boycott the movie, which hits theaters on January 27.
"PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props," the group said.
Even those attached to the movie shared concern and shame — actor Josh Gad, who voices the film's protagonist pooch, tweeted "I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will."
Producer Gavin Polone expressed similar sentiment, and told Variety "Had I been on the set, this would have never happened. This movie got made because of how I feel about animals. So this happened 15 months ago and should have been investigated immediately. It’s unconscionable that someone waited a year and three months to call attention to this."
Still, Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures insist appropriate measures were taken to ensure the film's dogs were treated safely and with respect.
"Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film," the companies said in a joint statement.
What do you make of the video above? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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