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Showbiz Insiders Allege Hollywood Cruelty

Written by PETA | September 11, 2012

PETA has sent an urgent letter to the board of directors of the American Humane Association (AHA) detailing reported allegations of incidents—some of them fatal—and lack of proper oversight involving animals on more than a dozen recent or current film and television productions purportedly monitored for animal safety by the AHA, as related to PETA by whistleblowers. PETA is asking the AHA to investigate the allegations and, if they prove to be valid, to fix any problems that allowed them to occur.

Were Animals Harmed?

The AHA is the organization—known for its “No Animals Were Harmed” statement seen in film credits—tasked by Hollywood with monitoring the use of animals on TV and film sets. But it is not clear that this statement means what it seems to say. The deaths of horses on the set of HBO’s Luck made it clear that AHA involvement didn’t mean that animals were safe. After PETA took that matter public, the series was canceled—and PETA was contacted with reports about several other productions where animals allegedly died or were injured or put at risk. If the reports are substantiated, some of the problems could have been averted. Some of the assertions allege that AHA’s management ignored problems or even helped set up the filming of sequences that were potentially dangerous for animals.

The productions about which concerns were conveyed to PETA include Moonrise Kingdom, Boardwalk Empire, The Hobbit, Failure to Launch, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Lone Ranger, and others. PETA was informed that the AHA ratings of some films do not reflect what occurred on set, that “Acceptable” ratings have been given when not all animal action was monitored, and that ratings were changed when the AHA feared information about problems on the set would be leaked. Some of the reported incidents allegedly resulted in injuries to animals and even their deaths.

Whether or not the whistleblowers’ claims are verified or if the AHA institutes reforms, AHA ratings are based only on the short period of time when animals are on the set—they don’t reveal anything about how the animals were trained or the conditions in which they live.

What You Can Do

There is no reason to use animals as “actors” when animation, blue screen, computer-generated imagery, and other advanced technologies can produce realistic substitutes. If you see a movie that uses animals in an improper way or portrays animals disrespectfullly, walk out, and tell the theater manager that you’d like a refund and why. For television shows or commercials, express your objections to network representatives or the advertised company.

Commenting is closed.
  • Andrew D-m says:

    really, you want to blame the creators of the movie for a farmers poor land quality. Yes animal abuse is wrong and we should stop it, but you people at PETA started a petition asking people to not watch movies for incidents that happened by “natural causes” and provoked by lack of prevention. they animal caretakers did take steps to try to prevent this but it wasn’t their property. the animals were not abused or mistreated. THEY RAN INTO HOLES. they walked into death traps. and I think one got ate by s fox or something. take the hobbits off that list, I’m sure you know someone who’s cat or dog ran into the road and got hit by a car.

  • Sofie says:

    Kerp human away poor anima

  • Patsi says:

    Life is so much better if you try your best to avoid causing harm to any animal or any person. Why can’t everyone see that? So disappointed to read this report as I had faith in the AHA and feel they have let the animals down badly.

  • marina kostova says:

    Nessun obbiettivo ,possa giustificare un simile massacro ,e non chiamatela “Arte” ,perchè è soltanto una delle tante industrie schifose per fare dei soldi sulla pelle dei poveri innocenti, ignari del rischio e senza una voce per rifiutare i vostri contratti disumani.

  • Sarah-Jane Loxton says:

    I’ve always questioned the idea that no animals were hurt…. apart from some of the stunt work that looks potentially dangerous, I often think of the cosmetics used on set, were they tested on animals? And what about the catering on set, is it vegan or do they serve meat and other animal products? If animals were harmed for either of these things then surely they can’t in all honestly claim that NO animals were harmed in the making of this film, because after all the cosmetics help make the film and the cast & crew do have to eat and I think that counts!

  • Janquiele Polezi Mazini says:

    sou totalmente contra a expor animais em qualquer tipo de atração ou entretenimento.

  • Patty Shenker says:

    I have to ask- how many animals have to die before we hold these studios and AHA responsible? No film is worth the death of a giraffe, or a horse, or a squirrel or any other animal. I want to reiterate that AHA misrepresents their accomplishments and misleads the public. They are a huge part of the problem. Their presence is inconsistent when filming with animals and there is no law or directive that requires AHA to be present. (They were not present for any of The Hangover 2’s scenes in which a capuchin monkey smokes, rides a motorcycle, is shot and eats a severed finger.) They do not take into account accidental injuries and deaths, which is outrageous and disingenuous. AHA is bought and paid for by the industry and cannot be an objective advocate for animals. Laws must be passed that forbid wild animals from being exploited in any form of entertainment because that is the only way to assure that animals will no longer be abused. So next time you read something like this from American Humane- “After 10 years of filming and production, you can watch the eight Harry Potter movies and know that the thousands of animals — including bears, foxes, dogs, owls, oxen, horses, snakes and insects — had someone there to protect them — us! “ or see their trademarked slogan- No animals were harmed- take it for what it really means- nothing!

  • Nancy Wilchenski says:

    This is just unbelievable! I cannot believe that the AHA is lying to the public and letting these poor animals be harmed or even killed! It’s time we picketed the movie houses and anything else associated with the harming or killing of animals! The guilty party(or parties) should be held accountable! I mean in a “do it and go to jail” way! Also, close them down and make it unlawful to say the AHA is monitoring these movies when that is just a bunch of crap! The AHA is on my scheisse list for now and I will be devoting all my interests and and donations to PETA!

  • bendarf says:

    Stop the war against yourself, tormentors

  • Robin says:

    The American Humane flat out lied on their own website. They said, “To help ensure the comfort of the horses used on set — about 70 in total — the producers used three different groups of horses, each native to the climate of the filming locale.” This is NOT true, the black Percheron draft horses that were used in the movie live in Ocala Florida. The scene was shot in Puerto Rico! Native? NOT! Mind you those horses were not harmed, but what other lies are they making? Johnny Depp is an animal lover, I am sure if he saw anything first hand he would have done something about it. But, he can’t be everywhere at once. In regards to WAR HORSE, “Though a small part was shot with an animatronic puppet, most of the harrowing scene featured trainer Bobby Lovgren’s steed Finder. The wire was made of plastic and only seemed to be tangled around the horse. It was not real barbed wire! Stephen Speilburg is a dire hard horse lover he has petitioned against horse slaughter and loves animals. Believe me he wouldn’t let nothing happen to the horses in the movie. However, that cannot be said for HBO’s Luck, My Friend Flicka, etc. See famous films where animals were tortured on this site, including 100 horses in the movie Ben Hur!

  • Ashley says:

    AHA should make sure that the film makers don’t pay for the services of companies such as Have trunk Will Travel that abuse animals. Real animals aren’t necessary anyway. If they can make dinosaurs and aliens appear real with technology then they can simulate an elephant.

  • ROBIN says:

    Cruelty lives every day of the week in the slaughter houses!

  • noor says:

    these people are ganna burn in hell ! i hope they all die just like what they did to that poor innocent horse and all the other animals

  • Dovile says:

    This is horrific, that’s only I can say…

  • jaynewilliams says:

    Every single word of this article is true. Take my word for it. This kind of thing has been swept under the rug by AHA for decades. In particular, when things should have been getting better for animals, with more oversight and less deaths, there are more than ever, particularly for horses. Unacceptable. Time for AHA to completely clean out their offices and start over doing what they are supposed to be doing. They haven’t a clue. Shameful.

  • Ad says:

    they should make a movie on the stupid producers and all the bs behind the film industry