Written by Zachary Toliver | March 15, 2018
A whistleblower has released to PETA deeply disturbing video footage from the set of Chinese director Hao Ning‘s upcoming film, Crazy Alien, which appears to show a young German shepherd locked inside a cage, suspended 20 feet in the air, spun around by a crane, and then plunged into a frigid, fast-flowing river.
In a log of the incident, the whistleblower states, “On November 28th, 2017, I witnessed first hand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen.” The alarming report describes how the handler first tormented the dog “into a frenzy” for a scene in order to get the terrified animal to bark as loudly as possible.
For the next scene, the dog was reportedly locked inside a “small (4W x 3T x 7L) solid metal wire cage” that was lifted by a crane into the air: “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 whistleblower, who describes watching “[w]ith huge disbelief,” continues:
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. 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.” … A final decision was made by the director to shoot a second identical take. I could not believe my eyes.
Apparently, there were numerous takes of all these scenes over a two-hour period, and at no time did the animal receive a break.
Even though 2018 is the Year of the Dog—a time when our four-legged friends should be especially celebrated and respected—this poor dog was allegedly tortured. Adding insult to injury, Crazy Alien is already using special effects (hence the word “Alien” in the title), so there’s no excuse for not using computer-generated imagery for the dog scene, as well. Why was this animal subjected to fear and suffering? Because when it comes to entertainment, animals are viewed as nothing more than props, and there are no laws protecting them on film sets in China.
PETA is urging the actors to hold the production accountable and calling for the public to boycott this film. This scene should be cut, and Ning should commit to never working with live animals again. We’re asking that the cast—including Glee actor Matthew Morrison—donate their salaries to animal-protection charities in China.
What You Can Do
Never support a movie that uses live animals. No animals willingly perform—they do so only out of fear of what would happen off set if they didn’t act on cue. Living conditions are typically abysmal for animals used in film and television, and they’re frequently denied everything that is natural and important to them.