A couple of days ago, TMZ posted behind-the-scenes footage of a dog actor named Hercules being forced to do a stunt he clearly didn’t want to do on the set of A Dog’s Purpose in Winnipeg. Someone shot video of Hercules’ trainer trying to put his scared furry ass in rushing water as one crew member said, “Just gotta throw him in.” Both the movie’s director Lasse Hallström (who claims he was not on set, uh huh) and one of its stars Josh Gad said they were grossed out by the video. PETA called for a boycott and the American Humane Association said that they suspended the rep who was on set. The production companies behind the movie, Universal and Amblin, kind of shrugged it off and said that Hercules and the other dog actors were all treated well. But yesterday, Amblin announced that they have killed plans for the premiere and press junket.
Amblin released this statement to E! News.
“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.”
Oh yeah, I’m sure Universal canceling the premiere had nothing to do with wanting to avoid questions and also avoid PETA protesters throwing German shepherd blood (aka red paint) at them.
As Amblin and the American Humane Association do their own investigations, so is the Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba. TMZ says that the CVO started investigating what happened with Hercules after receiving a complaint. Th CVO’s investigation could lead to them hitting a bitch with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 6 months in the clink.
Amblin continued to do damage control by giving TMZ a video of Hercules playing with a ball all happy-like. Studio sources also told TMZ that during rehearsal for that scene, Hercules entered the pool of rushing water at a specific place. But that specific place was changed during shooting and they say that’s why he freaked out.
'A Dog's Purpose' Star Content and Happy, Studio Says No Abuse https://t.co/qLODB8d8Du
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 20, 2017
Okay, Hercules may look all healthy and happy on the outside, but who knows if his insides are covered with scars from being traumatized? How do we know that every time Hercules hears a faucet running, he won’t hide in fear while thinking about how he was forced into that churning water? Or every time he hears a Canadian accent, he’s going to get the shakes while thinking about a crew member saying, “Just throw him in, eh“? Since everybody on HGTV is Canadian, Hercules should stay away from watching HGTV for the time being.