Lots of Animals Were Harmed During ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ Movie Shoots

Here’s some great investigative reporting via The Hollywood Reporter that should inspire more diamond tears from Miley’s digital kitty: turns out that the “no animals were harmed” disclaimers you see on so many blockbusters might just be dramatically inaccurate.

Big reveals include:

  • A monitor for the American Humane Association tried to downplay injuries suffered by animals on the set of Life of Pi (presumably due to her personal relationship with one of the film’s production managers)
  • A member of the AHA’s advisory board also happened to be CEO of a media company broadcasting movies about animals
  • A former AHA member was fired for pushing the now-cancelled HBO show Luck to be more careful with its horses
  • The AHA “covered up” the death of a horse on the War Horse set “to protect Steven Spielberg”

So it’s terrible publicity for everyone mentioned in the story.

Key quotes below:

“…the ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ credit serves as an effective shield against potentially damaging PR attacks from animal rights groups.”

“This unique compact, in which a nonprofit has taken on the role of a regulator of industry…means the AHA is accountable only to Hollywood itself.”

So Hollywood isn’t very good at regulating itself? Sounds like the film industry and the banking industry should spend more time together, because they have so much in common.

Some of these incidents were conditional: yes, animals were harmed, but not intentionally and not during filming. But the larger report outlines a classic “payola” relationship between regulator and regulatee confirmed to THR by anonymous Humane Association members.

There are many more disturbing details in the extensive report, which you should absolutely read in its entirety. We’re most upset about a dog being “punched repeatedly in its diaphragm” during shoots for the Disney movie Eight Below and other puppies getting “bloat and cancer” on the set of the god-awful Paul Rudd vehicle Our Idiot Brother—but that’s probably just our canine bias rearing its ugly head.

Will this big reveal lead to greater scrutiny of Hollywood’s animalistic practices? We do hope so.