I’m a dog lover. That’s not news. The last time I cried watching a movie was in 2008 when I saw Marley & Me because dogs are 100000% better than people and if you disagree, that means you simply haven’t ever had a good dog in your life. Your fault, not mine.
When I saw the commercial for the new movie A Dog’s Purpose, I was skeptical if I wanted to enter that emotional arena again. It’s a movie about a dog dying and then coming back over and over again and reuniting with his original owner as different dogs. There’s only one dog death in Marley & Me, could I handle five? Do I want to even conjure the thought of dogs being reincarnated, or will that send me into a cycle of soul searching for my old dogs? Bailey? Socker? Where you at?
The movie seems touching, but just 8 days before it hits theaters, a video was released of an animal definitely being harmed in the making of this movie.
I’ve worked with many pets on videos before. Sometimes they’re easy, sometimes they couldn’t give two shits about your production because THERE’S AN AIRPLANE OUTSIDE AND THEY HAVE TO GO CATCH IT. Dogs aren’t incentivized by money or fame, which is literally the only reason actors do what they do, especially stunt doubles. And if you say otherwise you’re lying to yourself or you’re an aspiring actor who isn’t good enough to make money. Your fault, not mine.
Now there’s no problem with dogs being used in films, in fact, I think they make good movies great. Can you imagine The Sandlot without Hercules? The Wizard of Oz without Toto? My Dog Skip without Skip? No ways! Dogs have a legacy of greatness in Hollywood, but there’s a line that can certainly be crossed, and that line was crossed when they turned a German Shepherd from a character into an extreme stunt double.
TMZ leaked this video which was taken on set in November of 2015. They just released it coincidentally 8 days before the movie’s launch. What an absolute PR disaster for the production company (Universal Pictures) who is now facing major backlash and protests from PETA and animal enthusiasts alike after this video surfaced:
Could you imagine being thrown into a raging river without any comprehension of why you’re there or where it leads to? You’d cling onto the edge for dear life, too. I was praying the dog would bite the shit out of the handler, but nope, he just resisted with every ounce of strength he had. The German Sheperd, Hercules, literally had cat like reflexes which is not how dogs react unless they are absolutely fucking mortified.
And to the video’s commentator saying, “c’mon he just needs to see that the water is warm” clearly has no idea how a dog’s coat works. The dog isn’t scared of the temperature like you are in your morning shower routine, you idiot. He’s scared of the fact he’s being thrown into the abyss of a raging river for the sake of something he gives 0 shits about. How come they could film Life of Pi without a single shot of a real tiger but decide they need a dog to endure almost drowning for a shot? Nothing else could have worked? Not a stuffed animal? Nothing?
Well, the good news? The representative on set for the American Humane Association, aka the group that declares whether or not animals were harmed in the making of this movie, was let go on administrative leave. PETA has issued a boycott of the movie, and even the actor who voiced the dog in the film has spoken out about the video:
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 19, 2017
In showbiz you gotta do what you gotta do to get the shot…except this. This is animal creulty and for that, I will not be watching this movie. Neither should you. Instead you should watch Two Buttons Deep’s original video about pets in which no pets die. Enjoy: