Seth MacFarlane, the comedic genius behind the hit series Family Guy and the blockbuster film Ted, doesn’t find animal abuse funny. He made it clear from day one of production on his new film A Million Ways to Die in the West that not only would animals be protected from outright harm, he also wouldn’t even allow anything to be done to them that would cause them stress or make them uncomfortable. MacFarlane says, “If it were up to me, that would be the law that you have to treat animals that way if you’re doing a movie. And I think at some point it will be. I think that’s the next big civil rights victory of sorts that will eventually find its way into actuality.”
As he explains in this exclusive interview with PETA’s Lisa Lange, “Anything that will even psychologically antagonize an animal we want to stay away from. And in the age of CGI, you can pretty much do that if you feel like doing it, and I did.” Watch now:
MacFarlane is right to be concerned about the treatment of animals in film and television. Many people assume that the American Humane Association (AHA) prevents the abuse of animals used in entertainment. But The Hollywood Reporter’s investigation into the AHA revealed what PETA has been working to bring to light for years—that the AHA’s monitoring of film and television productions is woefully inadequate. As a result, animals have often been put in dangerous situations, injured, or killed. Unfortunately, the familiar “No Animals Were Harmed” stamp of approval is extremely misleading to filmmakers and audiences alike.
However, thanks to advanced technology and caring filmmakers, the suffering of animals for film and television will soon be a thing of the past.