PETA calls for CGI horses after on-set Rings of Power death

PETA has also suggested the makers of The Rings of Power get out of the “torment” game following the horse’s death.

Rings of Power horse

A horse has died during the production of season two of Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, leading to a predictable outcry from PETA, who says there’s no reason it should have occurred.

In a statement from Amazon Studios, a spokesperson said, “We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died on 21st March…The incident took place in the morning whilst the horse was being exercised prior to rehearsals. The trainer was not in costume and filming had yet to commence. Both a veterinarian and a representative of the American Humane Association were present at the time. The independent necropsy has confirmed that the horse died of cardiac failure.” In short, the horse’s death on the set of The Rings of Power was not a result of any cruel punishment. This is also the first time the company that loaned the horse has seen a death in their 50-year history.

However, that hasn’t stopped beloved PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) from giving their input. They have, expectedly, come after the makers of The Rings of Power over the horse’s death. Their official statement reads: “It seems that living underground with the orcs is par for the course for the producers of The Rings of Power, because they have the option to use CGI, mechanical rigs, and other humane methods that wouldn’t run vulnerable horses to death on set…PETA is calling on the show’s creators—and all other producers—to take on a new quest without using any real horses. If they can’t avoid exploiting animals for their art, they should find a new medium, because no one wants to see a spinoff for TV with torment as the theme.” With such a hefty budget, one may wonder just how much could be left over for computer-generated horsies.

While tragic, the death of animals on set is something that occurs from time to time, although certain restrictions do make it far less common than in the early days of Hollywood. Still, if one animal seems to get the brunt of on-set deaths, it would be horses. In addition to The Rings of Power, horses have died during the making of TV shows like The Gilded Age and Luck, the cancellation of which stemmed from multiple equine deaths. There, too, were cases on the sets of Heaven’s Gate, Flicka, and 1959’s Ben-Hur, where numbers range anywhere from 100-150 horses dead. AndThe Rings of Power isn’t the only Lord of the Rings property to face similar incidents, as more than two dozen animals died during the making of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

What are your thoughts on the situation? What actions, if any, should the makers of The Rings of Power take regarding horse treatment? Let us know below.

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.