The Washington, D.C.-based group, the decider of ‘no animals were harmed in the making of this film’ tag, swept incidents under the rug. During ‘Life of Pi,’ a lion almost drowned. HBO’s ‘Luck’ was shut down after three horses died. The bombshell Hollywood Reporter expose calls into question the group’s relationship with movie industry.
Even the chipmunks aren’t safe on movie sets.
A bombshell report has called into question the claim that “no animals were harmed in the making of this film” that accompanies many Hollywood movies.
Many of Tinseltown’s biggest blockbusters caused injury or death to a slew of horses, lions and even a chipmunk, according to an extensive investigation by The Hollywood Reporter.
The focus of the expose is on the American Humane Association’s tangled relationship with the film industry and whether they are truly impartial protectors of the creatures.
In the critically acclaimed “Life of Pi,” a lion almost drowned while filming a scene, prompting AHA officials to try and sweep the incident under the rug, according to the scathing report.
“I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE!” Gina Johnson, an AHA monitor, wrote in an email obtained by outlet. “I have downplayed the f— out of it.”
In one bizarre incident, a chipmunk was crushed by a handler during the filming of the Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy “Failure to Launch.”
Investigators with ties to the AHA told the outlet that the Washington, D.C. group is basically permissive in animal abuse.
“It’s fascinating and ironic: from being the protectors of animals they’ve become complicit to animal cruelty,” Bob Ferber, a veteran prosecutor who founded and supervised its Animal Protection Unit until retiring in March, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The AHA flatly denied many aspects of the expose, including any claims of the AHA playing nice with the big studios and production companies.
“This whole idea that we’re cozy with the industry — it’s simply not the case,” one of AHA’s top officials, Dr. S. Kwane Stewart, told THR. “We first and foremost want to keep the animals safe.”