Hobbit Premiere Overshadowed by Protests and Allegations of Animal Cruelty
New controversy has erupted over the imminent release of the first movie in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy - primarily over accusations that the production company behind the films is responsible for more than two dozen animal deaths.
With the New Zealand premiere just days away (it opens there on the 28th) and companies like Air New Zealand hoping to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the film, the allegations couldn’t come at a worse time.
Jackson and his press team have leapt into action and released a statement:
'Extraordinary measures were taken to make sure that animals were not used during action sequences or any other sequence that might create undue stress for the animals involved,' Jackson has said, going on to point out that more than half of the shots of animals in the film were computer-generated.
To complicate matters, the ‘animal wranglers’ who worked on the film have admitted that no animals were harmed during filming - they are, however, blaming the production company for deaths of sheep, chickens, goats and horses that were kept at a nearby farm. And they’ve got People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) on their side, the main group behind the protests planned for New Zealand, the US and Britain. They’re also calling for full CGI in all scenes where animals are involved.
In response, Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema also put out a statement, saying the allegations
can be traced to freelance animal wranglers who were dismissed by the production over a year ago.
So, unless Peta can produce proof to back up their accusations, it’s unlikely to be cleared up before the premieres, but is it likely to affect the number of people going to see The Hobbit? I’d say probably not.
And as they say, no publicity is bad publicity. Even protests.
To leave a comment