Video showing alleged ‘animal abuse’ on set of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ sparks PETA-led boycott
The trailer for “A Dog’s Purpose,” the new children’s dramedy from Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolate,” “The Cider House Rules”), promised an adorable romp when the movie is released on Jan. 27.
The short clip followed a golden retriever who is reincarnated time and time again — as a German Shephard, a corgi and even a Saint Bernard — serving a new owner each time, until he eventually reunites with his original owner.
“Was there a point to this journey of mine? And how did bacon fit in?” the dog asked in the trailer, eventually concluding, “If I can get you licking and loving, I have my purpose.”
But another video — this one less family friendly — published by TMZ on Wednesday incited some to promise a boycott of the movie and has prompted an investigation into its filming.
In the about one-minute-long clip from November 2015, a German Shepard named Hercules stood between its handler and a large pool of churning water in preparation to shoot a scene.
But Hercules appeared frightened, leaning away from the turbulent white water and struggling to escape his handler’s grasp.
“Just gotta throw him in,” said one off-screen voice, while the handler attempted to shove him in, managing to dip Hercules’ feet in the water before the dog jumped defiantly back onto the ledge.
“I don’t think he wants to go in,” said the voice, now chuckling. “He wants to get away. Just throw him in.”
Eventually, the dog was shoved into the water but even then wouldn’t comply, still desperately struggling to get out of the water.
See the clip, below.
The movie’s production company Amblin Entertainment and distributor Universal Pictures released a joint statement noting that the footage was “edited” and stating “the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.”
“While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern…