K.J. Apa has some thoughts about that controversial A Dog's Purpose video that surfaced shortly before the movie's debut.
The controversial footage seemed to show a German shepherd being forced into rough waters despite its obvious fright. But as soon as the video hit the Internet, the movie's stars spoke out against the video and the film's producer Gavin Polone wrote an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter defending the film. Ultimately, American Humane said that there was no abuse on the movie's set and determined the footage was "misleading and edited."
Now, the A Dog's Purpose star is sounding off about the footage. Apa opened up to Vulture in a wide-ranging Q&A, and in it he addressed the "unfortunate" footage.
"You know, it's a shame that an edited video created this untrue perception of the movie, which is about love. It's unfortunate," Apa, who also stars in The CW's Riverdale, said. "It had a lot of hate on it for, like, two days. Everyone was talking about it. But I haven't heard much about it anymore. And Gavin Polone has come out with an amazing article. He was our producer, and he came out with an article telling how it actually is and what actually happened that day."
Apa maintained that his time on set was filled with nothing but fun and love with the animals. He admitted, however, that he wasn't there the day the footage was filmed, but it came as a complete surprise to him.
"Every time I was on set, I witnessed a production team that went to amazing lengths to ensure that the dogs were treated with the utmost respect and love," Apa said. "I wasn't there the day that video was shot, and I can only comment with things that I've seen with my own eyes, but obviously I wouldn't be involved with any production that would abuse animals, or humans, in that manner. Every day I was on set, those were the most loved animals that I've pretty much ever seen. And they were happy as well.
"But in terms of that incident, I wasn't there," he added. "I can't comment on it because I didn't see it."
Co-star Dennis Quaid also told Matt Lauer on the Today show, " Absolutely no dogs were harmed" during filming.
(E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)