We all know the score. We watch a movie, see a horse go down, we wince, a bit, but we then reassure ourselves that “No Animals Were Harmed”(R) when the end-credit disclaimer at the end of theatrical film rolls.
It is the assurance of the filmmakers that the animal actors used in those productions were not killed or injured in any way, and that their well-being and safety were assured by the trusted and the right to use this motif is issued by the American Humane Association. However, some recent movies are misleading the public, so says the AHA.
The movies falsely using the AHA are creating a significant breach of trust with audiences by inserting unauthorized “No Animals Were Harmed” end credits that have not been granted by American Humane, and whose productions were not monitored on-set by American Humane and its international cadre of highly trained Certified Animal Safety Representatives(TM).
“American Humane sets standards of care for animals in entertainment, upholds our Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media, and records objective reports from the set attesting to the treatment of the animals,” said Karen Rosa, American Humane’s vice president in charge of its Film & TV Unit. “Films that meet these standards are eligible to carry the end credit, and this misuse of American Humane’s registered trademark is an affront to those producers who legitimately and conscientiously meet those standards.”
American Humane’s Film & TV Unit, based in the Los Angeles area, exposed these recent films as using deceptive and unauthorized end credits:
— Adam by Olympus Pictures, Deer Path Productions, Serenade Films, Vox3
— District 9 by WingNut Films Limited, Key Creatives and LLC/QED Intl.
— Easy Virtue by Ealing Studios, Fragile Films, Endgame Ent., Odyssey
— How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Number 9 Films.
— Shrink by Ignite Entertainment, Ignite Productions, Ithaka
Entertainment and Trigger Street Productions.
In each instance, American Humane has sent the production entities, studios and/or distributors a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the unauthorized end-credit disclaimers be removed immediately from the theatrical version, the DVD version and any other versions they are releasing. Some studios and producers have indicated they will remove the illegitimate credit, while others are making excuses or taking no action and, thus, are potentially compounding possible infringement of American Humane’s protected trademark. This furthers the willful deception of the public as to the veracity of the safety and well-being of the animals used in those films.
“We encourage filmmakers to work with American Humane, and for distributors to verify the legitimacy of the ‘No Animals Were Harmed'(R) credit, before approving and finalizing any film prints for theatrical release or DVD distribution,” Rosa noted. “Viewers, too, should always look for the ‘No Animals Were Harmed'(R) end credit, and they can check our Web site, www.americanhumane.org/film to see what rating we assigned to films, based on their use of animals, and to find out how the animal action was achieved on films that we monitored.”
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