Following the viral video of a terrified-looking German Shepherd being forced to perform a stunt on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose,” PETA members will protest the film across North America on Friday, the movie’s opening night.
“No amount of spin from Hollywood will change the fact that being forced to do a terrifying stunt is not a dog’s purpose,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “PETA is calling on kind people to boycott this film and send the message that animals should be treated humanely, not exploited as movie props.”
Demonstrations will take place in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Winnipeg, where the movie was shot. People will also be mobilizing in more than 25 other cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Seattle.
“A Dog’s Purpose” tells the story of a dog who gets reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades and discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives go his owners.
PETA had also previously released a video exposé of Hollywood animal supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited, which provided the dogs used in the film, revealing that the animals used in “A Dog’s Purpose” were inadequately taken care of.
Director Lasse Hallström and Josh Gad, who voices the dog protagonist, spoke out about the video on social media, writing they were “very disturbed” by seeing the footage and that they ‘did not witness these actions’ while participating in the film. The controversy surrounding the film forced Universal to cancel the movie’s premiere and junkets.