The producer of The King’s Speech has settled a dispute over the use of a phrase intended to let viewers know animals were treated humanely during the making of a film.
The phrase “No Animals Were Harmed” is a trademark owned by the American Humane Association and may only be used in films where the AHA has given the approval after various aspects of film monitoring, from reading the script to making visits on the set, have taken place.
The AHA sent a letter to movie officials asking them to remove the phrase from the end credits.
Producer Emile Sherman has issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying the issue has been resolved, but also emphasized that animals working on the set of The King’s Speech were treated humanely and not harmed.
“During the production of The King’s Speech we did in fact have the best animal handlers on set to ensure the safety of the animals employed. As an independent UK production we were unaware that the phrase ‘no animals were harmed’ had a certification mark and any implication that the American Humane Association was involved in our UK production was unintentional. As a director of Voiceless, an animal protection organization, animal welfare is extremely important to me. We have now spoken with the AHA and resolved the issue. The treatment of animals in this film was never an issue. The only issue was inadvertent use by the producers of the AHA’s certification mark, which has now been resolved.”
When involved with the monitoring of animals used on sets, the AHA will give films ratings of Outstanding, Acceptable, Special Circumstances, Unacceptable and Production Compliant, depending on the conditions on the set and whether or not the organization was able to directly monitor the production.
Recent popular films that have received a rating of “Outstanding” include No Strings Attached and Country Strong.
The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth as King George VI who overcomes a speech impediment with the help of an unorthodox therapist (Geoffrey Rush).
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