'A Dog's Purpose' Star Josh Gad 'Shaken' by Alleged Video From Set

The clip allegedly shows a dog being forced into the water during filming.

ByABC News
January 19, 2017, 3:00 PM

— -- After TMZ obtained and posted a video allegedly taken on the set of "A Dog's Purpose," animal advocate group PETA has called for a boycott of the movie.

The video, which was released yesterday, appears to show a German shepherd named Hercules fighting his handler, who is trying to get him into a pool of turbulent water for one of the film's planned scenes.

The movie, which hits theaters next week, details the relationship between dogs and their owners.

"[The] footage shows a terrified dog who is forced into churning water on set," PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange told ABC News via a statement. "PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props."

The film's producer Amblin Entertainment and the studio distributing the movie, Universal Pictures, told ABC News in a statement that the recording and the incident's circumstances are being reviewed.

"'A Dog's Purpose' ... is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals," the statement read. "Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German shepherd Hercules throughout the production of the film."

Amblin added that the scene in question was scrapped because the dog was not comfortable.

"Hercules is happy and healthy today," the statement said in closing.

Actor Josh Gad, who is the voice of the dog in the film, issued a statement calling the video "disturbing." In a long Twitter post, the actor wrote that he signed on to the movie because he saw it as "one of the most beautiful love letters to animals I have ever seen."

"While I do not know all the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment [in the video], I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will," he continued. "I have reached out to the production team and studio to ask for an explanation for these disturbing images."

The director of the film, Lasse Hallstrom, also expressed his concern on social media.

"I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog's purpose," he wrote on Twitter. "I did not witness these actions. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished."

The Associated Press spoke to a representative from American Humane, the organization that ensures animal safety on movie sets, and that person said the group has suspended the safety rep who worked on the film. American Humane is conducting an independent investigation into the film and the matter, according to the representative.