Michael Bay has been charged for allegedly killing a pigeon on the set of the 2019 Netflix film 6 Underground in Italy. It has been reported that the filmmaker was responsible for an incident that resulted in the death of a protected homing pigeon.
The incident in question allegedly saw the pigeon inadvertently killed by a camera dolly during a take; however, Bay has outright denied the alleged sequence of events. “I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist,” he told The Wrap. “No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed. Or on any other production, I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”
According to an anonymous source, the incident was photographed by paparazzi, who reported the unjust killing of said pigeon to the Italian authorities. Homing pigeons are a highly protected species in Italy, with a law stating that it’s a criminal offence to “harm, kill or capture any wild bird”. Under The Birds Directive, pigeons are also protected by a European blanket law.
“We have clear video evidence, a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims,” the Transformers director added in his statement to The Wrap. “And disproves their one paparazzi photo – which gives a false story.”
So far, Bay is said to have attempted to appeal against the allegations three times, to no avail. Bay revealed that he had “a chance to settle this matter by paying a small fine”, but ultimately he “declined to do so because I would not plead guilty to having harmed an animal”.
Whether Bay was directly responsible for the bird’s death or not, he is held accountable as the director of the movie. “There is an ongoing court case, so I cannot get into the specifics,” he said, “but I am confident we will prevail when I have my day in court.”
The movie starred Ryan Reynolds and was released on December 13th, 2019. Sadly, it was a commercial and critical disappointment, and soon after its premiere, Netflix revealed that a planned sequel had been cancelled.
Watch the trailer for 6 Underground below.