Dennis Quaid calls controversial A Dog's Purpose video 'a scam'

The star of the family film commented on the video leaked from the set, claiming it had been ‘edited and manipulated’ and that he ‘never saw any abuse’

Dennis Quaid has spoken about the controversial leaked video from the set of his new film A Dog’s Purpose, calling it “a scam”.

The footage, which was revealed last week on TMZ, appears to show a terrified dog being forced into water in a scene for the new family drama. Quaid, who plays one of the owners in the film, claimed it doesn’t reflect the truth.

“I was there,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked.” He went on to say: “My experience is that the animals were treated great. There was no animal abuse. That video that someone took and sold for money and held on to for a year and a half until right before the film’s coming out does not tell the whole story. First of all, it’s been edited and manipulated. And I think it’s a scam, to tell you the truth.”

His comments follow those made by the film’s director Lasse Hallström who posted on Facebook that he was unaware of the video and the behavior shown was “unacceptable”.

Since the leak, Peta has called for a boycott of the film, released this Friday, and Universal, the studio behind it, cancelled the premiere. According to Deadline, box office tracking for the film has also started to feel the effect, with an analyst predicting that the word of mouth will impact the opening.

In a statement released yesterday to USA Today, Peta senior vice-president of communications Lisa Lange wrote: “The disturbing footage from the set of A Dog’s Purpose came just days after Peta’s investigation of Birds & Animals Unlimited – the company that supplied dogs for the film – revealed that dogs were kept in barren kennels and forced to sleep outside in the cold, animals were denied adequate food so that they would be hungry while being trained to do tricks, and other animals were denied adequate veterinary care and made to live in filthy conditions.”

In a statement posted to its website, Birds & Animals Unlimited provided its own account of what the behind-the-scenes footage appears to show and claimed that the video was “falsely edited”.

“[The video] portrayed a dog being forced to enter a pool against its will and suggested that the dog was traumatized as a result. No such thing occurred, nor would it ever occur under the supervision of our animal trainers.”

The film focuses on the spirit of a dog who experiences reincarnation, meeting a variety of owners throughout his journey.

Guardian film

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