LOS ANGELES (AP) — This weekend’s premiere of “A Dog’s Purpose” has been canceled following the release of a video that appears to show a frightened dog being forced into churning water during production of the film.
TMZ published video Wednesday that shows a man struggling to put a dog into a pool of rushing water while the dog fights to stay out.
Producer Amblin Entertainment and distributor Universal Pictures haven’t disputed the authenticity of the footage.
They say in a joint statement that Universal decided to cancel the premiere because Amblin’s review of the video is ongoing and they don’t want “anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between animals and humans.”
“While we are all disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress, everyone has assured us that Hercules the German Shepherd was not harmed throughout the filmmaking,” the statement said.
The companies say the film will be released nationwide as scheduled Jan. 27.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called the cancellation of the premiere “appropriate” after earlier calling for a boycott of the film.