The Saturday premiere of the movie A Dog's Purpose has been cancelled as many movie-goers and animal lovers call for boycotting the movie. The announcement comes after a video showing a German Shepherd being forced into a pool of water during the filming of the movie surfaced online.
The video, obtained by TMZ, shows the dog fighting with a man wearing a green suit to stay out of the warm fast-moving water, but the dog is forcefully thrown into the stream. The making then cuts to a scene where the dog is trying to swim his way out before he submerges in the water. A lifeguard is in the pool, but by the time he reaches the dog, he has already submerged. The video hears a voice yelling "Cut it! Cut it!" as the life guard reaches the dog.
Universal has released a statement stating that Amblin's review into the edited video "is still ongoing" and they have chosen to cancel this weekend's premiere "in the best interest of 'A Dog's Purpose.'"
"Amblin and Universal do not want anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between animals and humans," the statement said, adding: "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."
This statement comes following the producers informing CNN that the dog, Hercules is fine. "On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot. Hercules is happy and healthy," the statement read.
After the video made its way onto the social media platform, PETA urged people to boycott the movie. Many also condemned the cruelty caused to the dog in the movie that is made for dog lovers.