A Dog's Purpose producer Gavin Polone has written an extensive column in the Hollywood Reporter offering some additional context to explain the disturbing videos that have surfaced from filming, causing the film's premiere to be canceled. The videos obtained by TMZ show a German Shepherd apparently terrified to go into turbulent water as a dog trainer attempts to get him to go in and then, later, the same dog in the pool going underwater for about four seconds before he's pulled out. "These two things are absolutely INEXCUSABLE and should NEVER have happened," Polone writes. "BUT, without excusing myself and others, there is more to this story that I think should be known."
First of all, he notes that the dog had gone into the water from the other side of the pool successfully many times; he was apparently upset by the switch to a different side. He was ultimately not forced into the water and the take was completed from the other side with the dog perfectly comfortable about jumping in, Polone says. Secondly, the video as shown by TMZ makes it seem as if the dog—who was "unharmed and unfazed" by the entire experience—was thrown into the water and then went under, when, in fact, the two scenes are not connected and were from two different takes. While the dog shouldn't have gone under at all, Polone implies that someone purposely edited the video in a "misleading" fashion and then waited until eight days prior to its release date to make the footage, which was shot in 2015, public. Click for his full column.