Metro Weekly

A Dog’s Purpose opens Friday amid controversy

Animal rights activists are calling for a boycott of Lasse Hallstrom's drama

A Dog’s Purpose, with Dennis Quaid

Animal rights activists are calling for a boycott of Lasse Hallstrom’s drama about a reincarnated dog (Josh Gad) who discovers the meaning of life through bonds with his humans. They’re upset by alarming footage that shows a german shepherd being aggressively manhandled by his trainer during the filming of a stunt.

As a result, the movie’s official premiere was cancelled. It’s all too bad, because Hallstrom is an amazing director — My Life as a Dog, The Cider House Rules — and this looked like a really sweet and entrancing film.

Before you decide to boycott, read producer Gavin Polone’s apology in The Hollywood Reporter in which he shifts blame on the incident to the American Humane Society.

Opens Friday, Jan. 27. Area theaters. Visit

Please Support Metro Weekly

As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

Leave a Comment: