Film creator and renowned director Michael Bay, known for incorporating extravagant explosions to distract from absent story lines in his films, is dealing with an explosive story of his own now as Italian authorities are investigating the potential killing of a pigeon during filming in 2018.
Breitbart reported that prosecutors allege the fowl was killed by filming equipment. Bay denies the charges.
Italian prosecutors say the pigeon was killed by a dolly during the film’s production in Rome, where it is illegal to harm or kill wild birds. Italian authorities also noted that someone on set saw the incident, and snapped a photo before reporting it to police.
Not only Bay is contesting the charges. While Italian authorities cite an eye-witness, another source said Bay would never let this happen on account of his animal activism. “Everyone knows Michael is an animal activist. This would never happen on his set,” the source said. “There are dozens of witnesses who said that this didn’t happen,” they added.
Breitbart continued its reporting, noting that Bay is not being charged as a result of directly killing the bird, but because he bears responsibility as the film’s director.
While Bay did not harm any birds himself, he is reportedly being charged because he was the film’s director. The filmmaker has tried to get the case thrown out several times, but to no avail.
Bay was given the option to pay a small fine to settle the matter, but has so far refused because payment would amount to an admission of guilt, something the filmmaker refuses to do.
In a statement covered by The Wrap, Bay denied any wrongdoing.
“I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist,” Bay said in a statement to the outlet. “No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”
“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,” he continued
He then added, “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. 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.”
Any visitor to Italy is well aware of the infestation of pigeons, which locals often describe as being “rats of the sky.” They are also known to carry various diseases.
La Republica has noted that efforts to reign in the overpopulation and nuisance of pigeons has resulted in some communities passing ordinances to ban the feeding of pigeons. “The victims are found on the ground face up, on sidewalks and in gardens,” it wrote. “So many dead pigeons — every day bodies are found and the body count rises rapidly.”
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