The movie filled with controversy, that wasn’t meant to be.
Based on the book by the same name, A Dog’s Purpose was made to shed light on important issues such as dog adoption instead of breeding but also highlighting the life of men’s best friend from a different perspective.
When TMZ released the video this month, which appeared to show a German Shepard dog in distress and being forced into water by the trainer, animal activist and animal lovers exploded over social media. Canadian premieres for the movie were speedily cancelled, and calls to boycott the movie came from across the world.
After the abuse allegations came to the spotlight, investigations were launched. Amblin Entertainment, Birds & Animals Unlimited (the company that provided the dog trainer on set and the American Humane Association (which sends on-set animal welfare monitors) each launched an independent investigation prior to the movie’s release and they came to they same conclusions as the star from the movie Dennis McQuaid. Speaking to Today America, McQuaid had this to say, “Rather, the footage that went viral had been “spliced, edited and manipulated that to make it look as if a dog was being abused.”
People took TMZ’s word for what exactly happened, and well the movie which was suppose to be a huge box office hit literally took a hit in ticket sales. In a time where social media and online news dominates the time lines of many, opinions were created before the concrete facts came out. In the opening week the movie made $18.4 million.
Moving forward, though the investigations proved non-incident on set, movies that use animals are going to need to provide more transparency. Having the right rules in place and making sure the audience receives much more clarity on how scenes are filmed.