A group tasked with protecting the welfare of animals in the film industry blasted as “misleading” a report suggesting it turns a blind eye to abuse because it is too cozy with Hollywood.
The Hollywood Reporter listed alleged incidents on films including the Oscar-winning “Life of Pi”, where it said the Bengal tiger which is central to the movie reportedly nearly drowned.
Twenty-seven animals involved in making the first movie of the “Hobbit” trilogy died, it said, also listing incidents where a chipmunk was squashed, a husky dog was punched, and fish died in making “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
But the American Humane Association (AHA) said the story “distorts the work and record of a respected nonprofit organization that has kept millions of beloved animal actors safe on film and television sets around the world.”
“The article is misleading and unfortunate,” AHA senior advisor Karen Rosa told AFP. “I really think that the article does not paint a very accurate picture of the program and the hard work that we do out there in the field.”
“The article paints a picture that is completely unrecognizable to us or anyone who knows (our) work,” added the group, which confers the “No Animals were Harmed” stamp listed at the end of films it has monitored.
In its latest issue the Hollywood Reporter quotes an AHA monitor about an incident in which Richard Parker, the tiger which shares a shipwrecked lifeboat in Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”, allegedly nearly drowned.
In an email, the monitor recounted how the tiger “got lost trying to swim to the side,” adding: “Damn near drowned… I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE!”
“That was unfortunate,” conceded AHA advisor Rosa, referring to the email. “We believe that she exaggerated. But the bottom line was … the animal did not suffer any harm.”