Filmmaker Michael Bay has reportedly been charged with the death of a homing pigeon whilst directing the film “6 Underground” in Rome, Italy in 2018, but the director has hit back at the claims.
The Wrap broke the news of the charge and say Bay, who has made several attempts to clear the case with Italian authorities without success, categorically denied the allegations on Thursday.
In a statement, he says: “I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist. No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”
Pigeons are a protected species in Italy where it is illegal to harm, kill or capture any wild bird, including pigeons. The outlet’s sources say a homing pigeon was allegedly killed by a dolly in the middle of a take in Rome.
An unnamed individual apparently took a picture and reported it to Italian authorities. As Bay was the director of the film during production, he is being held responsible.
Bay refutes it, saying: “We have clear video evidence, a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims. And disproves their one paparazzi photo – which gives a false story. There is an ongoing court case so I cannot get into the specifics, but I am confident we will prevail when I have my day in court.”
Italian authorities reportedly gave Bay the option to settle and pay a small fine, which he declined: “I was offered by the Italian authorities a chance to settle this matter by paying a small fine, but I declined to do so because I would not plead guilty to having harmed an animal.”
Sources for TMZ added: “All the homing pigeons used in the film landed safely during filming.” Filming on “6 Underground” ran from August to November in 2018 across Rome, Florence, Sienna and Taranto.
Ryan Reynolds led the cast of the film about six individuals who fake their deaths and form a vigilante squad to take down some extremely bad guys. Dave Franco, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy and Mélanie Laurent co-starred.