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PETA is upset ‘The Witcher’ didn’t use CGI for Roach the horse

PETA released a statement expressing discontent around the fact that the Witcher show on Netflix didn't use CGI animals.
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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are upset with the production of The Witcher’s new season because the show chose to use live animals instead of creating them in CGI.

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The organization released a statement regarding the show, saying it affected the animals negatively.

“Netflix’s The Witcher has a monster problem, in that producers apparently monstrously chose to exploit a live lemur and squirrel monkeys, among other animals, instead of using modern and humane computer-generated imagery. The entertainment industry typically prematurely separates these animals from their mothers and thwarts their instinctual needs to explore, choose mates, raise young, and forage, which is why kind audiences should skip The Witcher and instead toss a coin to the many films and shows that feature only willing human performers.”

PETA’s motto includes a part that says, “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way,” so anything besides that is unacceptable to them.

The organization regularly takes umbrage with popular TV shows and movies. Recently, it called out the family-friendly movie Clifford the Big Red Dog for using real-life animals to interact with the CGI dog.

“While other movies opt for CGI that allows monkeys to stay with their families, instead of being dragged onto film sets and forced to perform, Clifford the Big Red Dog doubles down on old-school cruelty,” PETA said. “Clifford is a big red flag, and kind audiences should skip the flick in favor of productions that don’t exploit animals.”

Using animals for entertainment is wrong no matter what, the organization said. No exceptions.

Often torn away from their mothers as infants and subjected to lives of punishment and deprivation, animals used in movie and television productions have no control over their lives. They’re treated like props, often forced to perform confusing tricks on cue until they’re considered too old, too sick, or simply no longer profitable. … Animals used in movies and on TV are trapped in the recurring role of “victim.”

The horse in The Witcher is named Roach. He joins other famous horses from the annals of cinema like the horse in Seabiscuit, the horse in The War Horse, and the horse that modeled for the severed equine head in The Godfather.

There’s a fairly touching scene in the show’s second season involving Roach that I won’t spoil, but it turns out star Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivea in the show, actually rewrote the scene.

The moment in question was supposed to be a bit more humorous, according to showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. Instead, Cavill, who is notoriously familiar with Witcher lore, asked to change a line.

“Henry was so unhappy with the line,” she said. “Finally, I said, ‘You know what, you come up with something. I trust you; you know this material so well, you know the book so well, you don’t even have to pitch it to me.’ And he came back the next day with a beautiful speech that’s at the end of Sword of Destiny when Geralt is facing death, and it’s such a pitch-perfect moment.”


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Jon Silman
Jon Silman is a stand-up comic and hard-nosed newspaper reporter (wait, that was the old me). Now he mostly writes about Brie Larson and how the MCU is nose diving faster than that 'Black Adam' movie did. He has a Zelda tattoo (well, Link) and an insatiable love of the show 'Below Deck.'