Monday, May 9, 2011

Fox Issues Statement Regarding Alleged Abuse Video

20th Century Fox posted this statement on the official Water for Elephants Facebook page today.
(Click to enlarge)

Entire official statement sent to the press:

“A central message of Water for Elephants is the condemnation of cruelty towards animals. Twentieth Century Fox feels strongly that we have taken every step to ensure that the film, while portraying the perception of animal abuse (often through digital effects), held in utmost importance the proper care and humane treatment of all animals involved in the production. Fox and the filmmakers behind Water for Elephants are disturbed and saddened by the video being circulated that purportedly shows the elephant Tai being mistreated several years ago. We are strongly opposed to violence against animals, humans or any creatures.

“Fox is compelled to point out that this video was NOT taken during the training for, or production of, our film, and neither Tai nor any other animal performer in the film was harmed in any way during the making of this film. In fact, the organization circulating this video claims it was taken in 2005, which was at least five years before the movie went into production and at least a year before the book on which the movie is based was even published. Moreover, a representative from the American Humane Association was on set and monitored every instance in which animals were used and can confirm that no animals, including Tai, were mistreated in any way," the statement concludes.

Animals Defenders International released the disturbing video that prompted the response from Fox. You can see it at their site. The longer version with quotes from experts is also now available.

During the filming of Water for Elephants, the American Humane Association closely monitored the shoot, to make sure no animals were harmed during production. You can read their statement here.

Late this afternoon, Have Trunk Will Travel (Tai's trainers) issued their response to the video. What they had to say, at waterforelephantsfilm.com.

We will keep you posted as new information comes in.


  1. It sounds like someone deliberately wants to sabatoge this movie. The last movie I saw Tai in was Evan Almighty and why was this video not released for that movie? Something smells fishy here. Now, people will try and boycott the movie.

    1. The animal abuse by have trunk will travel is well known. They've been caught on camera hundreds of times. The directors of this movie should have never used them or there abused animals. The shooting of Evan Almighty also featured much animal abuse. This is not a deliberate sabotage the video speaks for itself. It includes people from have trunk will travel (the same people who worked on this movie) beating the same animals that worked on this movie, but a few years ago. Of course they these animals. You don't lay into an animal like you do on the video and enjoy it and then one day stop.

  2. The names are bigger in this movie & will get more attention than Evan Almighty would have gotten it. 2 oscar winners & the worlds latest heart throb. But yeah, 6 years for this to get released? And the Rob haters, especially the Krisbians, are eating this up even though they know that Rob, Fox had nothing to do with this. Another excuse to trash Rob.

  3. agree thats why we must be there for Rob, anything for the haters to use against him

  4. I personally think that the organization who had this should be charged for holding back criminal content! Sorry but I do. I say this however without knowing how they got this video, they could have just found it of course but their cause is moot considering the movie AND the book is based on speak up AGAINST animal abuse.

    The focus on this should be to prevent something like this to happen to any animals now and to capture those ppl who did this in the video, those who filmed it and coverd it up since 2005! That is what the focus should be on, not to boycott a movie like Water For Elephants.

  5. I love how they fail to point out that Tai was in an ELEPHANT SANCTUARY and that Rob spent hours with her before he even agreed to sign onto the film. Making sure that she was treated correctly and not abused before he decided to work on the film.

  6. Why surprised? Animals are always abused for entertainment. Why do you think an elephant should stand on his head? Stupid to think they would do it for an apple and a whispered word...
    To use this hard trained elephant was a wrong and bad decision. Why not use computer tricks?

  7. Rob fans, let's not take this as a slight towards Robert. He was probably unaware, like the majority of people, of the methods used to train elephants. As horrible as this elephant was treated when it was younger during training, it is a postive that this is getting media attention now. Hopefully this will get filmmakers and film fans to stop supporting movies that use animals like this. I'm a massive Rob fan but I avoided this movie as I am aware of the horrible training methods used for elephants. I don't want to support animal cruelty for entertainment.

  8. People dont seem to realize that this happens all the time to thousands of animals on a daily basis. As far as WFE and Rob.. you all know that if he thought something was up he would have said or did something. Him and Tai are besties. And Have Trunk will Travel needs to be shut down. that video hitting a baby over the head with the hook. Thank goodness for undercover work. #YouGotBustedBitch

  9. I was very sad to hear that Tai has been mistreated in the past. I do not for once second believe that Tai was mistreated during the making of Water for Elephants. The cast, esp Rob and Reese are clearly animal lovers and would have not let that happen, nor would want to be involved in a movie where animals were being injured.
    Water for Elephants is an amazing movie and those of you out there who want to sabotage, boycott it etc - go and get a life and let the rest of us enjoy this beautiful film.

  10. What's the matter about the time period that Tai was abused?! She WAS mistreated and then she was taken to stage in a movie. And it is terrible. FOX made ​​a mistake by not having ascertained that Tai had been mistreated in the past. Worse, Tai remains under the influence of people who abused her. What will be done about this? Will Tai continue to belong to these criminals owners who 'train' animals torturing them?

  11. Next time you go see an "entertaining" movie with wild animals in it, think twice. Tai isn't doing this for fun. She may not have kicked and beaten in front of a film crew, that would be bad publicity, but she certainly was before and she likely will be again, but it will be in private.

    "These animals would not be acting in this behavior unless they had been poked, shocked, or hit, because they're not going to learn that behavior any other way."

  12. i will not watch the movie because i know how they are trained and it is sick and for anyone to agree with it is sick you all know how they are trained dont play dumb i love rob and the girl but they were playing dumb......ANIMAL ABUSE IS AGRENST THE LAW BY WATCHING THIS MOVIE YOU ARE PARTICIPATING PUT A STOP TO ANIMAL TORTURE, just beccause she was trained in the past why force her to relive that WHY for some peoples enjoyment well she certainly didnt..........People like that will all answer to god..just saying....