Matthew Morrison says his "heart is broken" over allegations of animal abuse on the set of his upcoming movie, Crazy Alien.
The former Glee star took to Twitter to share his outrage over the situation after PETA posted a video of the alleged dog abuse on Thursday. The video appears to show a dog locked in a cage, flung through the air and then dropped into a river on the film's set in China. According to PETA, the footage was shot in November.
"I’ve just been made aware and seen a video from the set of a film I worked on in China. My heart is broken to see any animal treated this way," Morrison wrote on Thursday night. "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."
In a statement released to the media on Saturday, the film's production company, Dirty Monkeys Studio said, "We feel sorry that we didn't do our best to avoid this. We treat all the cast and crew including animals with utmost respect for their contribution of amazing performance to the project."
Another production company that worked on the film, Crazy Alien Film Production, added: "We sincerely apologize for any animals that were mistreated on our set. We always strive to treat all cast and crew, human or animal, with the utmost respect, and are deeply troubled by the reports of an animal in distress on our production. There is no excuse for any failure to fully account for the welfare of any animal brought into a film, and we will be conducting a full review of our live animal practices and safeguards going forward."
"We also welcome this opportunity to open up a much-needed dialogue on live animal film practices in China," the statement continued. "We have reviewed the footage and discussed the shoot with cast and crew who were present, and hope that the following details can help address at least some of the concerns that have been raised regarding these scenes: There were two shot set-ups for the dog in the reported scene. In the first, the dog is just supposed to be suspended in the air, safely in the cage. This was controlled using a wire harness and was completed without issue."
"In the second set-up, the dog and cage are supposed to move up and over the water, without submerging. The first time this set-up was attempted, the height was miscalculated and the cage fell into the water. Then, before fully diagnosing the mechanical problem, a second take was requested," the statement said. "This was a mistake. The dog’s welfare should have been paramount, and any potential risks should have been diagnosed and eliminated before the dog was again called upon to undertake the scene."
"We sincerely apologize," the statement concluded. "Following a second failure in this shot set-up, the crew changed plans and shot an empty cage falling into the water. This scene will eventually be composited as a CG shot. Despite mistakes in filming, the dog was well cared for on set. Its owner was present throughout the filming, and full accommodations were provided for its comfort and safety. Nevertheless, no explanation can excuse any distress caused to this innocent animal on our set, and we are deeply sorry."
ET has reached out to Dirty MonkeysStudio andd Crazy Alien Film Production for comment.
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