A group tasked with protecting the welfare of animals in the film industry said a report released on Tuesday was “misleading” in its suggestion that the group turns a blind eye to abuse because it is too cozy with Hollywood.
The Hollywood Reporter listed alleged incidents on films, including the Oscar-winning Life of Pi, where it said the Bengal tiger, which is central to the movie, reportedly nearly drowned.
Twenty-seven animals involved in making the first movie of the Hobbit trilogy died, it said, also listing incidents where a chipmunk was squashed, a husky dog was punched and fish died in making the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
However, the American Humane Association (AHA) said the story “distorts the work and record of a respected nonprofit organization that has kept millions of beloved animal actors safe on film and television sets around the world.”
“The article is misleading and unfortunate,” AHA senior adviser Karen Rosa said. “I really think that the article does not paint a very accurate picture of the program and the hard work that we do out there in the field.”
“The article paints a picture that is completely unrecognizable to us or anyone who knows [our] work,” added the group, which confers the “No Animals were Harmed” stamp listed at the end of films it has monitored.
In its latest issue, the Hollywood Reporter quoted an AHA monitor about an incident in which Richard Parker, the tiger which shares a shipwrecked lifeboat in Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s (李安) Life of Pi, allegedly nearly drowned.
In an e-mail, the monitor said the tiger “got lost trying to swim to the side,” adding: “Damn near drowned... I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE!”
“That was unfortunate,” said Rosa, referring to the e-mail. “We believe that she exaggerated. But the bottom line was ... the animal did not suffer any harm.”
“Cats are good swimmers,” she added.
The Hollywood Reporter also cited the case of a horse dying in the making of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated 2011 film War Horse, and dozens of fish that washed ashore after a special effects explosions on the Pirates of the Caribbean set.
A Spielberg spokesman said the Hollywood Reporter story was exaggerated, but essentially accurate in terms of its description of what happened on War Horse.
“What they wrote was essentially what happened,” spokesman Marvin Levy said. “But there was no cover up ... the whole story is rather exaggerated in many places. Safety was the prime consideration throughout the entire film.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s lengthy investigation claimed the AHA has a fundamental conflict of interest, because its funding came from two industry bodies.
Rosa said the group got about two thirds of its funding from industry, but insisted: “Those funds are neutral. Nobody tells us what sets we can monitor, how we’re to monitor them.”
The group acknowledged that accidents did occur.
“Over a span of many years, despite our best efforts, there have occasionally been rare accidents, most of them minor and not intentional,” the statement said.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against