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‘Dog’s Purpose’: Petition Seeks Boycott Unless ‘Significant Portion’ of Proceeds Donated to Animal Welfare

Variety logo Variety 1/20/2017 Dave McNary
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Things are getting even hairier for “A Dog’s Purpose.”

A petition is calling for a boycott of the family film — a day after its premiere was canceled — unless the creators donate a “significant” portion of the proceeds to animal welfare organizations.

The movie, which opens on Jan. 27, has been under fire in recent days following the release of a video showing a dog being forced into churning water on the film’s set. PETA also called for a boycott on Wednesday, resulting in Universal and Amblin Entertainment calling off the movie’s Saturday premiere.

The Care2 petition did not name a specific animal welfare organization or suggest what figure would constitute a “significant” contribution. The petition was launched on Friday morning and had generated more than 14,700 signatures (almost reaching its goal of 15,000) as of 9:55 a.m. PT.

Universal released a statement on Thursday saying that Amblin was still reviewing the edited video. “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,” the statement reads. “We continue to support this film, are incredibly proud of it, and will release it for audiences nationwide next Friday.”

“A Dog’s Purpose” is directed by Lasse Hallstrom and based on W. Bruce Cameron’s 2010 novel about a canine who is reincarnated into several dogs over the course of multiple lifetimes. Hallstrom said he was “very disturbed by the video,” but didn’t witness the incident.

“I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film ‘A Dog’s Purpose,'” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”

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