'Grim Reaper' to protest Hobbit
An animal activist wearing a grim reaper costume and holding a sign saying "The Hobbit: Unexpected Cruelty" is expected to make an appearance at the world premiere of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy in Wellington.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) says one of its members will be at the premiere on Wednesday to protest the alleged deaths of animals during the filming of the trilogy.
The US-based organisation alleged that five horses, a pony, and several goats, sheep and chickens were maimed or killed during production.
Peta announced last week it would hold protests at three premieres of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey around the world, including the world premiere in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson and the producers of The Hobbit hit back at the organisation's allegations, saying they had always instituted swift and immediate investigations into any concerns over the treatment of animals.
The American Humane Association, which monitors animal welfare during movie making, says no animals were harmed during the filming but noted it monitored sets only and not the facilities where they are trained.