A Dog's Purpose Premiere Cancelled Amongst Animal Cruelty Outcry After Video Surfaces
The furor regarding the upcoming film A Dog's Purpose continues to swirl unabated around a video posted by TMZ yesterday, showing a frightened German Shepard being forced into swirling pool of water with eight outboard motors running to simulate a raging river. This afternoon Universal Pictures announced that both the press junket as well as Monday's scheduled premiere of the film.
It seems the move is largely to try to contain the damage done by keeping cast and crew as far from press and social media as possible, although many of those involved with the film have spoken up in outrage at what happened during the shoot. Although the premiere is being scrapped, the release date for the film on the 27th is still slated to continue on schedule.
It seems that almost no-one has yet admitted to being present at the time of the incident, with even the film's director Lasse Hallstrom, who was on set at the time insisting through a series of caps-locked tweets to protest his ignorance of what had occurred.
The voice actor who was used to make the film's trailer, Anthony Mendez is joining in the protest against the film and has stated he would donate all pay which he received for the making of the trailer to the ASPCA.
Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures have had their PR teams craft up a statement in support of the film and insisting that nothing had happened (because everyone present told them so, so it must be true):
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.