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Peter Jackson responds to allegations of animal cruelty on the set of The Hobbit films

Nov. 20, 2012by: Alex Maidy

A minor controversy erupted over the last couple of days regarding THE HOBBIT production. PETA issued a statement claiming that 27 animals were mistreated and killed during the production of Peter Jackson's films. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is slated to open on December 14th, so the timing seems to be positioned to maximize impact on box office for the movie.

Allegations often arise during big budget films that animals were mistreated. Jackson himself has dealt with these issues on past projects, including THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But, both Jackson and the studio have been quick to issue statements defending themselves. Jackson issued this via Facebook earlier today.

The Hobbit production has always instituted swift and immediate investigations in to any concerns of any kind over the treatment of animals under its care. A prompt and thorough investigation into the recent unsubstantiated allegations by the American organisation, PETA, in to the ‘hobbling’ of a horse during the making of The Hobbit was undertaken. No evidence of such a practice was found to have occurred at any time. Further, the production contacted the owner of the horse concerned who provided the following statement: “I am 100% happy with the return of Shanghai and his condition. In the term that he was leased he was picked up and returned to me two times. On both occasions there was not a mark on him and he was healthy and happy. He has shown no signs of ill-treatment. I would not hesitate in leasing him to the movie again.”

To date, the only horse wranglers whose treatment of animals fell below the production’s standard of care seem to be the two wranglers who have chosen to level this new accusation on the eve of the premiere of the first Hobbit film and who were dismissed by the production over a year ago. Reports of their actions are documented in several written statements dating back to October 2011.

The production regrets that PETA has chosen to make such a serious accusation, which has distressed many of the dedicated Kiwis who worked with animals on the films – including trainers, wranglers, care-givers, farm workers and animal health care professionals – without properly vetting the source from which they received this information.

I hope that this turns out not to be true. Jackson goes on to provide multiple supports for his claim that no animals were harmed. That is not to say that he would have been fully aware of every single event during his movie's production, but it remains to be seen what will come of this.

I doubt that these accusations will have any effect on the release of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. The death or mistreatment of any animal is a shame, but the average movie-goer will probably never hear of this unless it turns out to actually have caused the death of these horses.

Source: Deadline

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11:50AM on 11/21/2012

In other words,

"Nice try, a******s."
"Nice try, a******s."
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+3
2:54AM on 11/21/2012
If i were jackson i would try to go after PETA for slander of character, ESPECIALLY if they didn't even do their own due diligence. So many people judge in hollywood, even the public. The truth of all those matters is none of us were there for any events that have been "exposed" in the press/tabloids. Give most of these ppl the benefit of the doubt, until you know for certain.
If i were jackson i would try to go after PETA for slander of character, ESPECIALLY if they didn't even do their own due diligence. So many people judge in hollywood, even the public. The truth of all those matters is none of us were there for any events that have been "exposed" in the press/tabloids. Give most of these ppl the benefit of the doubt, until you know for certain.
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+8
9:51PM on 11/20/2012
Hollywood's worst people - Scientologists and PETA.
Hollywood's worst people - Scientologists and PETA.
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8:23PM on 11/20/2012

I fucking hate...

PETA, that motherfucking train wreck of an organisation need to get shut the fuck down. They are a joke to real animal right activists. .
PETA, that motherfucking train wreck of an organisation need to get shut the fuck down. They are a joke to real animal right activists. .
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5:56PM on 11/20/2012

Who gives a fuck

Nobody would bitch and moan if a stuntman or actor got hurt or died but since its an animal everyone has to be up in arms about it. If this does and effect over the release of the hobbit I am goin to be pissed. Btw my theater is actually awesome and is actually getting it in 47 FPS :) stoken
Nobody would bitch and moan if a stuntman or actor got hurt or died but since its an animal everyone has to be up in arms about it. If this does and effect over the release of the hobbit I am goin to be pissed. Btw my theater is actually awesome and is actually getting it in 47 FPS :) stoken
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4:54PM on 11/20/2012

PETA Can Suck It

If anyone wants to know what PETA is really about watch the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode about them. They are so far out there its not even funny, they have convicted Eco Terrorists on their payroll. They want to stop all animal testing for development of drugs, but their Vice President is a diabetic and takes insulin which was derived and is made from animals, but she refuses to stop taking it...hmmmmm

They are beyond idiotic.
If anyone wants to know what PETA is really about watch the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode about them. They are so far out there its not even funny, they have convicted Eco Terrorists on their payroll. They want to stop all animal testing for development of drugs, but their Vice President is a diabetic and takes insulin which was derived and is made from animals, but she refuses to stop taking it...hmmmmm

They are beyond idiotic.
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4:18PM on 11/20/2012

peta

I back People Eating Tasty Animals 100%.
I back People Eating Tasty Animals 100%.
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4:00PM on 11/20/2012
I'm not trying to be rude, I know all of you involved with the site work very hard and try your best to satisfy your audience. I will say though, the last couple news stories have been kind of old. I don't know if that's intentional or not but I read this article a couple days ago. Again, not trying to be rude, just saying.
I'm not trying to be rude, I know all of you involved with the site work very hard and try your best to satisfy your audience. I will say though, the last couple news stories have been kind of old. I don't know if that's intentional or not but I read this article a couple days ago. Again, not trying to be rude, just saying.
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4:13PM on 11/20/2012
Yeah but Jackson only just responded to it.
Yeah but Jackson only just responded to it.
+21
3:36PM on 11/20/2012
Fuck PETA. Every year their bull shit gets more and more ridiculous to the point that it seems that they are trying to use situations that involve animals and injecting themselves into them for attentions sake. Just the timing of this nonsense goes to show you that they are more concerned with harming box office dollars then the 'actual' care of the animals involved.

when i first read the title of the article i thought, not a chance would P.J. allow this to happen or in worst case if it did
Fuck PETA. Every year their bull shit gets more and more ridiculous to the point that it seems that they are trying to use situations that involve animals and injecting themselves into them for attentions sake. Just the timing of this nonsense goes to show you that they are more concerned with harming box office dollars then the 'actual' care of the animals involved.

when i first read the title of the article i thought, not a chance would P.J. allow this to happen or in worst case if it did happen once it would be swiftly dealt with. And low and behold it seems that is exactly the case.

Again, Fuck PETA.
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