A Dog’s Purpose’ Premiere Cancelled Amid Disturbing Video Controversy
January 20, 2017: Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have decided to cancel this Saturday’s premiere of “A Dog’s Purpose” after a disturbing video emerged on Wednesday, showing a dog being forced into a raging torrent of water on the film’s set.
Universal released a statement saying Amblin’s review into the edited video “is still ongoing” and they have decided it is “in the best interest of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket.”
Alleged Animal Cruelty in Hollywood: Animal Advocates Call for Public to Boycott Film
A German Shepherd being dragged into rushing water while visibly resisting and clearly under duress, all for an exciting shot? The movie studio’s review of this alleged act is ongoing. But one thing we know for sure: a dog’s purpose is NOT to suffer excessive stress and duress in order to make great footage and boost the careers of people in the film industry. If these allegations prove to be true, once again the American Humane Association appears to have been asleep at the wheel. As for the trainer, director Lasse Hallström , the DP, and every other person on the set of this Universal Pictures film who was complicit, we hope there is enough public outrage that they all have to answer to charges of animal cruelty.
“One of the dogs in the upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose” desperately resisted shooting a risky scene, but chilling footage shows filmmakers apparently forcing the animal into rushing water.
TMZ obtained this video of a scene shot in a pool outside Winnipeg, Canada in November 2015. You can see a trainer forcibly shoving a German Shepherd — one of at least 5 dogs used in the production — into the frothing water, but the animal wanted NO part of it … and repeatedly clawed at the pool’s edge.
Sources connected to production tell us 8 outboard motors were used to churn the water and recreate a rushing river. The dog eventually got in the water — or was forced in — but was quickly submerged.”
We’re told director Lasse Hallström was present the whole time, and at least one member of the crew was extremely disturbed by the dog’s treatment during this scene.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called for a boycott of the family film A Dog’s Purpose, after video surfaced Wednesday that appears to show one of the movie’s star dogs performing under duress.
TMZ posted the video with the headline “Terrified German Shepherd forced into turbulent water.” The video, which TMZ says was shot on the set in 2015, purports to show a rescue scene in which the trainer looks to be forcing the dog into a pool of rushing water, as the dog repeatedly claws to stay on land…
“New footage shows a terrified dog who is forced into churning water on set. At one point, a dog who is in danger of drowning has to be rescued.”
-PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange
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.”
Distributor Universal Pictures did not respond to multiple requests from USA TODAY for comment. A representative for producer Amblin Partners did not respond to a request for comment.