Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have cancelled this weekend’s Los Angeles premiere of film A Dog’s Purpose. A video of stressed German Shepherd Hercules being immersed in a man-made water rapid surfaced this week, and gained negative public reaction. Animal treatment watchdog group American Humane Association (AHA)—responsible for the “No Animals Were Harmed” accreditation—launched an investigative report into the incident on Wednesday, after previously giving the film an acceptable rating in regard to animal treatment. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a boycott of the film on the grounds of animal abuse, and asked the production team to replace all animals on set with Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) in their place—a technology successfully employed by the creators of recent film The Jungle Book. “Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing,” the production studios wrote in an issued statement, “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.” While public outcry over Hercules’ safety is understandable, countless pigs, cows, chickens, goats, and other sentient beings—not very different from the German Shepherd—continue to endure abuse in the animal agriculture industry.
Photo courtesy of Joe Lederer/Universal