Whistleblower footage has been released from the set of Hao Ning's upcoming film Crazy Alien starring Glee actor Matthew Morrison.
The footage shows a young German shepherd locked in a cage being suspended in the air, spun around on a crane, and then plunged into a river.
Now animal rights charity PETA is calling for the scene to be cut from the film. It has also asked the cast to donate their salaries to animal-protection charities in China, and for Ning to commit to never working with live animals again.
A log, written by the whistleblower, says: "On November 28, 2017 I witnessed first hand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen.
"The second the dog cage rose into the air the dog stopped barking instantly as the cables were used to spin the cage out of control in circles. …The director took many takes and this was just awful to witness as the torment went on.
"[T]he cage was completely submerged with the dog in it landing in a 10mph current. After five–eight seconds the director yelled out ‘cut.’ … A final decision was made by the director to shoot a second identical take. I could not believe my eyes."
PETA Senior Vice President, Lisa Lange, said: "2018 is the Year of the Dog, but instead of being celebrated and respected, this poor dog was tortured.
"In a movie already using special effects, why was this animal subjected to fear and suffering?
"Because there are no laws protecting animals on film sets in China, PETA is urging the actors to hold the production accountable and asking the public to boycott this hideously cruel film."
Speaking to TMZ about the incident, actor Matthew Morrison said: "I've just been made aware and seen a video from the set of a film I worked on in China.
"My heart is broken to see any animal treated this way. Had I been on set or known about this, I would have made all efforts to stop this.
"I've called the producers to express my outrage."
The film's producers have not yet publicly responded to the criticism.