I don’t know about you, but over the last few months I’ve been looking forward seeing A Dog’s Purpose. The trailer alone was bringing tears to some viewers eyes. It’s possible we all have to think twice about whether we want to go see the film or not.
The film was supposed to open a week from (1-27-17) now and there was a press junket scheduled for today.
But a few days ago TMZ got a hold of and released a terrible, terrible video where a dog handler is seen forcing a dog into a water tank, in what looks like something the dog wanted nothing to do with.
Then there was the scene where the dog gets washed down to the other end of a tank and you watch his head go under the water. Divers rush in to rescue him.
All the while you can hear a voice of some callous asshole saying, just throw him in.
The dog on the video is from Birds & Animals Unlimited, a CA-based company that has been getting scrutinized by PETA. For what that’s worth.
The thing is there are so many people in the world of dog trainers that are horrified at what they’ve seen in this video.
TMZ broke this story first then PETA got in on the act. PETA has its own detractors and that’s issue for another day. As it stands, a lot has happened since the TMZ video.
First they released the video via an article titled “Terrified German Shepherd Forced Into Turbulent Water.”
Then they reported that the AHA (American Humane Association) rep that was on set to supposedly protect the animals from abuse has been suspended.
Then the explanations or excuses started coming out of the studio talking about how much rehearsal and training went into the scene before the moment we see on tape at the link. They say that they took a break from trying to shoot the scene and later, the dog was willing and able.
Then TMZ reported that crew members are now under investigation by Canada’s Chief Veterinary Office.
And now due to public reaction, among other things, the film’s premiere and press junket was cancelled.
Here is the statement from Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures:
Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing, distributor Universal Pictures has decided it is in the best interest of A DOG’S PURPOSE to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket. Amblin and Universal do not want anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between animals and humans.
Since the emergence of the footage, Amblin has engaged with many associated with the production of the film, including safety personnel, trainers and stunt coordinators as part of their in-depth review. While we are all disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress, everyone has assured us that Hercules the German Shepherd was not harmed throughout the filmmaking.
We continue to support this film, are incredibly proud of it and will release it for audiences nationwide next Friday.
Even though the studio said that other than this one scene we all saw, things were all fine with filming for this dog and all the others. But the damage has been done and we don’t know just how all the other animal scenes were handled.
The damage has been done and many have now sworn off seeing the film.