One of the more sensational stories in recent weeks had to do with a comparatively small movie called A Dog's Purpose. While it wasn't a blockbuster, it was one of the most talked about movies because of a video that purported to show a dog being mistreated on set. Now, an independent investigation has been done and in turns out, the video was basically bullshit.
According to a report from American Humane, the investigation has concluded not only that no dogs were harmed during the filming of A Dog's Purpose, but that the video that was given to gossip site TMZ had been specifically edited in order to cast the movie in the worst possible light. The footage had apparently been captured as long as 15 months ago and been held by whoever shot it, in order to release it just before the film's release, in order to do the most damage to the movie.
The video showed two scenes specifically. The first included a german shepherd at the edge of a pool of water, with a trainer trying to get the dog to go in the water, the second segment showed the dog swimming in the water, apparently struggling, before becoming completely submerged for a moment. Apparently, the scenes didn't actually take place at the same time. When the dog showed that he did not want to swim in the fist part of the video, the dog was not forced to swim. The swimming moment came at an entirely different time when the dog was more amenable to swimming. After the dog was submerged, he was immediately removed from the water, placed in a warming tent, and examined to be sure that there were no ill effects.
American Humane is critical of the first scene from the video, saying that the handling of dog should have been more gentle and that the dog's stress at going in the water should have been recognized sooner, but that's about as far as the organization, famous for their "no animals were harmed..." phrase that's used at the end of nearly all movies, goes as far as admonishing the production.
Needless to say, this is a bit of a shock. While the fact that the TMZ video contained two separate scenes was clear, they were certainly presented as being two parts of the same shot. It's one thing to say that the video gave the wrong impression due to the way it was edited, but this report is going beyond that and stating that there was an intent to damage the film behind it. The report doesn't go into any specifics about why they know this, there's no indication about who did the filming if that information is even known.
It's hard to imagine why somebody would want to intentionally harm such a simple film. Who has a grudge against a movie about dogs? It's also difficult to say how successful they were. A Dog's Purpose has grossed $42 million worldwide so far, it's hard to imagine the film would have done all that much better prior to the video, the movie was released in January for a reason, though it's certainly possible the video kept a lot of people out of theaters.
What do you think of this new revelation? Let us know in the comments below.
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