Universal Pictures execs cancelled this weekend’s premiere of the movie ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ amid the uproar over a leaked video that shows a canine star being forced into artificially turbulent water.
The video, which was obtained by gossip tabloid TMZ shows a trainer forcing a terrified German Shepherd into the turbulent water.
At the end of the video, the dog appears to go under the water as humans swim over to save it.
It was all too much for dog lovers. PETA and other animal rights activists called for a boycott of the movie which opens in theaters on Thursday.
‘A Dog’s purpose‘ is a fantasy film about a dog who searches for his purpose in life as he is reincarnated over several lifetimes and several owners.
A spokesman for Universal and Amblin said, “Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing… it is in the best interest of A Dog’s Purpose to cancel this weekend’s premiere.
Another statement reads: “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.”
Director Lasse Hallström was outraged at the unauthorized video leak.
“I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog’s purpose… I did not witness these actions. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film,” he said.
‘A Dog’s Purpose‘ is still scheduled for release. Animal rights activists vow to protest outside theaters all over the country that show the film.