Michael Bay Denies Killing Pigeon on ‘6 Underground’ Set in Italy

"No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years."
Michael Bay at Ambulance premiere
Michael Bay

Michael Bay may be known for his onscreen explosions, but one behind-the-scenes action sequence on a Bay-helmed set may be putting the director in court.

The “Transformers” director is currently facing charges in Italy related to killing a homing pigeon during the 2018 production of Netflix film “6 Underground” in Rome. The Wrap reported that Bay has made several attempts to clear his name with Italian authorities and has repeatedly denied the charges.

“I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist,” Bay said in a statement to the outlet. “No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”

Bay continued, “We have clear video evidence, a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims. And disproves their one paparazzi photo — which gives a false story.”

He added, “I was offered by the Italian authorities a chance to settle this matter by paying a small fine, but I declined to do so because I would not plead guilty to having harmed an animal. There is an ongoing court case so I cannot get into the specifics, but I am confident we will prevail when I have my day in court.”

An insider told The Wrap that a dolly allegedly killed a homing pigeon in the middle of a take. A member of the set claims they witnessed the accident and sent a photo of the scene to Italian authorities. Since Bay was the director of the film during production, he is held responsible.

Pigeons are a protected species in Italy under national laws that make it illegal to kill, harm, or capture any wild bird; the E.U.’s Birds Directive also protects the species.

“6 Underground” starred Ryan Reynolds as a billionaire who fakes his death and forms a vigilante squad comprised of five other individuals played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Dave Franco, Adria Arjona, Ben Hardy, and Corey Hawkins. The film was penned and executive produced by “Deadpool” co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Principal photography began July 30, 2018, and shot in Rome, Florence, Sienna, and Taranto before wrapping December 5, 2018.

Netflix announced in July 2021 that the costly $150 million action film would not receive a sequel. The streamer’s head of original films, Scott Stuber, said, “We didn’t feel like we got there on that one creatively. It was a nice hit, but at the end of the day we didn’t feel like we nailed the mark to justify coming back again. There just wasn’t that deep love for those characters or that world.”

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