Matthew Morrison’s new film, “Crazy Alien,” has been accused of animal abuse on set.
During the filming of the Chinese science fiction film, a set member sent PETA a video of a German Shepherd allegedly being mistreated while shooting a stunt.
The video and an account of the alleged incident by the crew member was made public by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday.
“On November 28th, 2017, I witnessed firsthand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen,” the staffer-turned-whistleblower told PETA, per a log the group released.
The crew member further detailed the alleged abuse, according to PETA.
“The second the dog cage rose into the air, the dog stopped barking instantly as the cables were used to spin the cage out of control in circles before solidly landing 40–50 feet away. The director took many takes and this was just awful to witness as the torment went on.”
The alleged animal abuse continued during another scene, the crew member claimed.
“The next shot was at the river’s edge where the dog was put back into his cage and tormented into a frenzy once again,” the whistleblower said. “This time … the cage … was hoisted 20 ft. and was flung while spinning out of control towards the river. … [T]he cage was completely submerged with the dog in it landing in a 10 mph current. After 5–8 seconds, the director yelled out ‘cut.’”
The whistleblower then told PETA the film’s director, Hao Ning, asked to shoot the same take over again.
PETA reported that the numerous takes featuring the dog continued for two hours, without allowing the dog to have any kind of break. TMZ sources who were also on the set echoed that the dog was “shaken up,” but said it did not seem to suffer any injuries from the shoot.
In response to the incident, the Morrison shared a statement on Twitter saying he had just seen the video and his “heart is broken to see any animal treated this way. Had I been on set or known about this, I would have made all efforts to stop this. I’ve called the producers to express my outrage.”
It’s not the first time allegations of animal abuse on a film set have caused concern.
PETA is hoping “Crazy Alien” will now have a similar fate. The group is calling for a boycott of the sci-fi film and requesting that the film’s cast donate their salaries to Chinese animal rights charities. PETA is also pushing for the scene to be cut from the movie and for director Ning to be barred from working with animals ever again.