A German shepherd starring in a new movie has the world talking — for the worst possible reason.
On the set of “Crazy Alien,” a Chinese-produced film starring “Glee” actor Matthew Morrison, an anonymous crew member captured a shocking behind-the-scenes video that shows the dog being violently spun around in the air while inside a metal crate, then hurled into an icy river for nearly 10 seconds.
The footage, which was captured in November 2017 but just released last week, has outraged animal advocates — and some are even calling for a boycott of the film.
“The director took many takes and this was just awful to witness as the torment went on,” the anonymous crew member wrote in a report to PETA.
The scene was allegedly shot multiple times over the course of two hours, the tipster said, noting the dog was never let out of the crate or given a break. It was allegedly supposed to depict an alien abduction.
In other scenes, the dog’s trainer reportedly tormented the dog “into a frenzy” to get the dog to bark.
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. 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.
— Matthew Morrison (@Matt_Morrison) March 16, 2018
Morrison, who was not on set while the dog was being used for the scene, expressed his outrage on Twitter after the video’s release.
“My heart is broken to see any animal treated this way,” Morrison said. “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.”
This is not the first time animals used in films have faced abuse.
Earlier this year, one of Hollywood’s most popular animal trainers, Sidney Yost, had his license revoked due to multiple animal welfare violations. He regularly kicked animals and kept them in dirty enclosures — all while working with high-budget feature films like “The Hunger Games” and “Get Out.”
In 2015, behind-the-scenes footage showed a trainer who worked on “Life of Pi” and other big films viciously whipping a cowering tiger in the face and body to force him to perform.
After major outcry from PETA and other animal welfare advocates, the Chinese production company has apologized and promised to reform its animal care standards.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”