Why Animal Lovers Are Staying Away From ‘The Hobbit’
A year has passed since the release of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey – which means it’s also been a year since disturbing allegations came out about the abuse, neglect and death of many animals during its production.
Here’s a reminder of how horses, goats, sheep and other animals suffered during the making of the movie:
Rather than address compassionate people’s concerns, Peter Jackson has brushed off criticism and refused to give assurances that he will stop putting animals at risk. Given the advent of computer-generated imagery, which helped to create characters such as Gollum, there’s less excuse than ever for putting animals through hell to make a movie. Jackson may make films about good triumphing over evil, but it seems that in real life, the director has embraced the dark side.
Just last month, further upsetting details about the treatment of animals by the entertainment industry emerged, thanks to an investigation by The Hollywood Reporter. The report found that the American Humane Association (AHA), which is tasked with monitoring animal welfare on film sets, isn’t doing its job properly. As a result, animals may often be put in dangerous situations or subjected to abusive training methods during filming.
Animals aren’t actors. They don’t seek out fame or enjoy being forced to perform for the silver screen. Audiences and filmmakers alike need to realise that the only way to guarantee that “no animals were harmed” in a feature is to leave animals out of it altogether.