Celebrity News January 19, 2017
Disturbing ‘A Dogs Purpose’ Footage Released: Josh Gad ‘Shaken and Sad'
The upcoming movie “A Dog's Purpose” is the story behind a dog looking for his purpose over several lifetimes as he teaches humans about the love of a pet. The trailer had many people in tears over the feel-good movie, but now disturbing video footage has surfaced of alleged animal cruelty on set.
As TMZ first shared, the video shows a German shepherd desperately struggling to get away as it is being forced into a rushing body of water. An off-camera voice is heard saying “You just gotta throw him in,” as the terrified dog claws at the side of the pool.
Josh Gad, who is the voice of the dog in the film tweeted that he is, “Shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will.” He also clarified that he was not on set during any of the filming.
Animal rights activist and producer on the film Gavin Polone told Deadline, “I'm horrified by this. If I had seen that, I would have stopped it in a minute. People have to be held responsible for this. It was someone's job to watch out for this kind of thing. Why didn't they?"
The film's director, Lasse Hallström, posted a series of tweets which read, "I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog's purpose. I did not witness these actions. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film.”
I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog's purpose.@HallstromLasse
I did not witness these actions.@HallstromLasse
We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film.
I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.@HallstromLasse
I have been a lifelong animal lover and A DOG'S PURPOSE is my third film about dogs. The animals' safety was of utmost priority.@HallstromLasse
for both myself and everyone on the set. I have been a lifelong animal lover and A DOG'S PURPOSE is my third film about dogs.@HallstromLasse
We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film.@HallstromLasse
Since the footage was released, the American Humane Association has suspended the field representative who was on set and an investigation is underway. The AHA told People magazine, “American Humane has reviewed the video and we are disturbed and concerned by the footage. When the dog showed signs of resistance to jumping in the water, the scene should have been stopped.”
A statement from the film's studio Amblin Entertainment and distributor Universal Pictures reads, "While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, 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.”
PETA has called for a boycott of the film.