PETA Takes Issue with Jackass Forever Trailer in Letter to LA Court

Animal activist organization PETA, or "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals," has filed a letter with the Los Angeles city and county prosecutors demanding action be taken against the production of Jackass Forever over scenes of "animal cruelty" in the latest trailer for the film. Of particular beef in the letter is a stunt where a bull charges Johnny Knoxville.

PeTA is Back on their Bullsh*t, Claims Jackass Forever Breaks Law
Jackass Forever. Credit Paramount

Sources close to the production who were on set for the day the bull stunt was filmed note that the final take of the bull stunt that appears in the film was a re-do; the first bull was too docile and did not charge Knoxville. The animal handlers brought in another bull for the stunt, which nearly broke Knoxville's neck (and that is the take that appears in the trailer). On Kimmel, he mentioned he spent the weekend in the hospital with broken ribs, a broken wrist, and a concussion after that stunt. Just like humans, animals all have different personalities and temperaments; if production's inclination was to harm animals for the shot, they simply would have abused and angered the first bull and saved time; however, they did not.

Their letter goes on to mention two other clips of stunts from the trailer: one involving a snake bite to the face and another a tarantula inside helmets on the heads of Ehren McGhehey and Dark Shark a'la Fear Factor style. PETA's claims are based solely on the three clips that total less than 7 seconds combined (with slow-motion effects added). The letter cites violations against California animal fighting laws as well as bullfighting and general animal cruelty penal codes.

Also of note is PETA worrying that the stunts will be copied by youths and incite more animal cruelty if left unpunished. Worrying that stunts will be imitated is a common complaint of Jackass, mostly from parent groups. In the literal decade's Jackass has existed, they have never been shy about showing the aftermath and consequences of their stunts. Knoxville and Steve-O have been especially vocal about their worst injuries, stupidest things they've done, and all-around negative side of their Jackass careers. Young boys aren't exactly eager to repeat a stunt that literally broke Knoxville's "little Johnny."

Jackass Forever currently has a February 4, 2022 release date, and the PETA letter isn't even the first legal filing we've seen for this movie. Brandon "Bam" Margera was cut from the movie due to a failed drug test and recently filed a suit against Paramount for wrongful termination.

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About Eden Arnold

Eden enjoys watching baking shows with her cat, and they have lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in newspapers, magazines, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter and IG at @Edenhasopinions.
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