A new Chinese science fiction movie starring Glee actor Matthew Morrison is facing allegations of animal abuse.
According to PETA, a whistleblower on set of Crazy Alien sent the animal rights group a video purporting to show a German shepherd being mistreated during a stunt sequence.
“On November 28th, 2017, I witnessed first hand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen,” the whistleblower wrote in a log of the alleged incident, PETA reports.
On Friday, Morrison, 39, responded to the claims on Twitter, saying “my heart is broken to see any animal treated this way.”
“Had I been on set or known about this,” the Glee actor said, “I would have made all efforts to stop this. I’ve called the producers to express my outrage.”
Representatives for the film’s production company, Dirty Monkey Films Group did not immediately return requests for comment.
The animal rights group claims the whistleblower saw a handler work the dog up “into a frenzy” to get it to bark as loudly as possible. Then the dog was allegedly locked inside “small solid metal wire cage” that was lifted into the air by a crane.
“The second the dog cage rose into the air, the dog stopped barking instantly as the cables were used to spin the cage out of control in circles before solidly landing 40–50 feet away. The director took many takes and this was just awful to witness as the torment went on,” the whistleblower alleged.
“The next shot was at the river’s edge where the dog was put back into his cage and tormented into a frenzy once again,” the whistleblower reportedly continued. “This time … the cage … was hoisted 20 ft. and was flung while spinning out of control towards the river. … [T]he cage was completely submerged with the dog in it landing in a 10 mph current. After 5–8 seconds, the director yelled out ‘cut.’ “
When the director allegedly asked for another identical take, the whistleblower told PETA, “I could not believe my eyes.”
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PETA also reports that there were numerous takes of all the scenes over the course of 2 hours, and the dog was never allowed a break. Sources told TMZ that the dog was shaken up but did not appear to be hurt.
The animal rights group is calling for a boycott of the film, the scene to be removed and the film’s director Hao Ning to never be allowed to work with animals again. PETA is also asking that the film’s cast, including Morrison, donate their salaries to animal-protection charities in China.