The company that provided the animal trainers for the 2017 film "A Dog's Purpose" claims the controversial video of an unwilling dog being forced into churning water was "falsely edited."
Universal Pictures canceled the premiere of the film this weekend, after the leaked video from TMZ prompted outraged animal rights activists and PETA to call for a boycott of the film.
Now Birds and Animals Unlimited, the animal trainer company used by the film, has released a long statement regarding the incident, claiming the clip was "falsely edited" and vehemently denying the abuse accusations.
Um... I don't know about you guys, but I'm not seeing a ton of editing?
While there is no clear sign of physical abuse, the dog, a German Shepard named Hercules, is obviously afraid to get in the water. He claws at the edge of the wall while the trainer appears to push him in.
However, Birds and Animals Unlimited writes in its statement that though the TMZ clip cuts to Hercules in the water, the dog was never actually forced to swim until he was willing to jump in himself.
It states, seconds after that clip ends, Hercules happily entered the water of his own accord, from a different location on the set. He reportedly loves to swim.
The company has not released the full footage of the incident yet, as it claims it is "evaluating its legal options."
Here is the full statement of how the scene went down, according to the trainers:
I mean, honestly, sounds legit to me. As long as Hercules is happy, that's all that matters, right?
Whether this statement will be enough to save the film's upcoming opening weekend remains to be seen, but things don't seem to be looking good.
Many who worked on the film have come forward to condemn the video, including director Lasse Hallstrom and voice actor Josh Gad. However, actor Dennis Quaid came to the defense of the trainers, claiming he never saw any abuse on set.
"A Dog's Purpose" opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, January 27.