Universal cancels premiere of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ after TMZ publishes video of German shepherd in distress

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WINNIPEG, Canada – According to The Hollywood Reporter Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertianment have cancelled the movie’s premiere.  “Amid the controversy surrounding a troubling video revealed a stressed German Shepherd was forced to perform in artificial rapids on the set of the upcoming A Dog’s Purpose, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertianment have cancelled the movie’s premiere, which was to have taken place in Los Angeles this weekend. ”

The Hollywood Reporter also wrote that Universal and Amblin issued a statement saying, “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 humans and animals.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Original story:

Animal lovers are calling for a boycott of “A Dog’s Purpose” Wednesday after TMZ published disturbing video the site says was taken on the set.

The video was recorded in 2015 at a set outside Winnipeg, Canada, according to TMZ. The footage shows the dog struggling to stay out of the swirling, frothy water as a trainer forces it in.

Sources told TMZ that eight outboard motors were used to create the churning water.

Another man, who doesn’t appear on camera, can be heard saying, “He ain’t gonna calm down until he goes in the water … you just gotta throw him in.”

The second scene shows the dog struggling to keep its head up as the swirling water carries it across the pool. The German shepherd finally slips under the surface after running into the wall of the pool, and someone off camera can be heard yelling, “Cut it,” as trainers rush over.

It’s unclear whether or not the final scene was scripted, but TMZ reports that director Lasse Hallström was on set at the time, and at least one crew member was “extremely disturbed” after seeing what happened to the German shepherd.

Universal Pictures and entertainment company Amblin told TMZ they would investigate, and issued this statement:

“Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are calling for a boycott of the movie, saying in a tweet that they want to “send the message that dogs & other animals should be treated humanely, not as props.”

“A Dog’s Purpose,” which stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson and Josh Gad, is scheduled to be released into theaters January 27, 2017.