Ahead of the Paramount Pictures release of “Jackass Forever” on February 4 next year, the slapstick reality film directed by Jeff Tremaine is already in hot water. Following the release of the movie’s trailer — featuring Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee Man, and the gang — PETA has reached out to Los Angeles prosecutors demanding a criminal probe into the filmmakers regarding an alleged incident of animal cruelty. (Via Joblo.)
Here’s an excerpt from PETA’s press release:
PETA’s attention has been drawn to the production of the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie, filmed in Los Angeles County, the trailer for which shows Johnny Knoxville being charged by a bull, Sean McInerney being bitten on the nose by a snake, and a tarantula trapped in a plastic tube between Ehren McGhehey and Compston Wilson’s heads. PETA notes that these activities appear to violate California’s prohibitions on bullfighting and similar exhibitions, causing any animal to fight with a human, and cruelty to animals, and that other acts of cruelty may well have been committed on set without making it into the trailer or the film’s final cut. Tormenting real animals for stupid stunts normalizes cruelty, encourages others-including minors-to harm animals, and violates California law. PETA is asking the authorities to hold ‘Jackass Forever’ accountable for any violations and reminds the film industry that animal abuse cannot be tolerated.
Regarding the bull charge in the film, PETA noted that such attacks are “often a result of having been taunted, while snakes are naturally reclusive and typically retreat from humans unless provoked. Tarantulas are sensitive to vibrations, which they use to detect danger, a trait that makes loud sounds and foreign environments especially stressful for them.” It’s also worth noting that the foundation’s motto includes, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”
The call for the criminal probe has been stoked by the fact that PETA previously demanded that Paramount Pictures cut all stunts involving animals from the film, but the studio ignored that request.
The film stars Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey, and Dave England, alongside new cast members Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Jasper Dolphin, and Zach Holmes. Eric Andre, Tony Hawk, Machine Gun Kelly, and Shaquille O’Neill are just a few of the guest pranksters who join for the fourth installment.