'A Dog's Purpose' premiere canceled amid investigation of potential animal abuse


Varietyis reporting that Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have decided to cancel this weekend's premiere and press junket for A Dog's Purpose. This news follows the release of disturbing footage from the set of the film, where a German Shepherd was repeatedly forced into turbulent waters despite being visibly terrified.

Following the release of the footage, PETA called for a boycott of the film, while American Humane, which had a representative on set, said it will be conducting an investigation into the incident. According to Variety, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment released the following statement in regards to their decision to cancel the premiere and press junket.

Since the emergence of the footage, Amblin has engaged with many associated with the production of the film, including safety personnel, trainers and stunt coordinators as part of their in-depth review. 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. We continue to support this film, are incredibly proud of it and will release it for audiences nationwide next Friday.

Despite canceling the Saturday premiere,Universal and Amblin remain committed to releasing A Dog's Purpose nationwide on Jan. 27. Along with PETA's call to boycott the film, many have taken to social media to advocate the same.

A Dog's Purpose is based on the best-selling book of the same name, and stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid, with Josh Gad providing the voice of Bailey, the dog. Following the release of the footage, Gad stated that he was "shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will."

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: Actor Dennis Quaid attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Classics' 'At Any Price' at the Egyptian Theatre on April 16, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Actor Dennis Quaid attends the 'At Any Price' New York premiere during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Actor Dennis Quaid attends the Cinema Society & Bally screening of Sony Pictures Classics' 'At Any Price' at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on April 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Actor Dennis Quaid speaks at the screening for 'At Any Price' during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Paramount Theatre on March 16, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 16: Actor Dennis Quaid attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Classics' 'At Any Price' at the Egyptian Theatre on April 16, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Actor Dennis Quaid arrives to the screening of 'At Any Price' during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at the Paramount Theatre on March 16, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Actor Dennis Quaid arrives at the special Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Benefit screening of 'Playing For Keeps' at ArcLight Hollywood on November 28, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 08: Actor Dennis Quaid arrives at Los Angeles Confidential Magazine Celebrates Their Men's Issue Cover Party with Dennis Quaid at The Residences at W Hollywood on October 8, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 29: Actor Dennis Quaid attends CW, CBS, And Showtime 2012 Summer TCA Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Actor Dennis Quaid attends the 'At Any Price' premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
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