'A Dog's Purpose' Producer Places Blame in Incident Involving Canine Forced Into Water
He says that calls to boycott the film are going too far.
The producer of A Dog’s Purpose is speaking out about the disturbing video shot during filming and leaked days before the film's premiere.
The footage, which appears to show a terrified German shepherd being forced into a pool for a stunt, outraged the country.
Producer Gavin Polone defended the dog's treatment to Inside Edition.
"I was shocked and I was outraged as anyone would be but the sad thing is, it's being stirred up with a video that does not paint a complete picture," he said.
In the footage obtained by TMZ, the dog struggles as his handler tries to force him into the water. He fights so hard that the handler has to drag him back out.
More footage shows the dog actually going into the water. It appears he nearly drowns and has to be rescued from the giant tank.
In the movie, the German shepherd, Hercules, plays a heroic police dog.
Polone said that during rehearsals, Hercules was actually eager to jump into the water, but a decision to change the direction of the jump at the last minute frightened the dog.
"They had shifted positions from where the dog originally was," he said. "The dog didn’t want to do it. It should have stopped immediately."
He blames the dog's handler and a safety monitor for trying to force Hercules into the water once they saw he didn't want to complete the stunt.
“The handlers should have never allowed anyone to coerce the dog into water for 40 seconds," he said. "It should never have happened."
But he added that the leaked video is misleading because it's highly edited.
“In the video you can't see that there’s a cut off so you were lead to believe that possibly the dog died," he claimed. "Incredibly manipulated."
He says calls to boycott the movie are going too far.
“Hercules is healthy and alive and well and they should not believe misleading video that Hercules was injured or even killed,” he said.
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