‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Star Josh Gad Is ‘Shaken and Sad’ Over ‘Disturbing’ Dog Video

“As a proud dog owner and a fervent supporter of organizations like PETA, I have reached to the production team and studio to ask for an explanation,” the voice actor says

Last Updated: January 18, 2017 @ 10:40 PM

“A Dog’s Purpose” is at the center of criticism after the release of a video obtained by TMZ that showed a trainer apparently pushing a struggling dog named Hercules into a pool.

Josh Gad; who stars as the voice of a dog named Bailey, has spoken out after PETA called for animal lovers to boycott the family movie to “send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props.”

In a lengthy Facebook post Wednesday night, Gad said: “I signed on for a film that truly stands out as one of the most beautiful love letters to animals I have ever seen. Today, however, I saw a disturbing video that appears to show a scared German Shepherd being forced to perform a stunt on the set of this film.”

Gad emphasized that he doesn’t know any details behind the video and was not on set for the making of the film.

But he is “shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will,” he said.

“As a proud dog owner and a fervent supporter of organizations like PETA, I have reached out to the production team and studio to ask for an explanation,” the “Frozen” voice actor continued.

The video, shot in November 2015 and published Wednesday by TMZ, shows a trainer appearing to force Hercules into a pool fitted with motors to simulate a whitewater river. The dog clawed at the edge of the pool before being finally pushed in. Hercules appeared to struggle to stay afloat until a voice yelled “cut” and handlers removed him from the pool.

The film’s director, Lasse Hallström, also posted his displeasure with the video.

“I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film ‘A Dog’s Purpose,'” he tweeted. “I did not witness these actions, which are unacceptable and would never happen with my knowledge.

“We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.”

However, Amblin Entertainment defended its production, telling TMZ that despite appearances, no coercion was used, and the dog did not do anything against his will. Amblin said the dog had rehearsed the water scenes for several days, but when it was time to shoot for real, he evidently got cold paws.

“On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot,” an Amblin spokesperson told the website.

After a break in shooting, Amblin said Hercules was totally fine with completing the stunt, and that the dog was not forced into the water.

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