People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for a criminal investigation into Jackass Forever, claiming the animals in the film were subjected to cruel treatment.
The most recent installment in the Jackass franchise sees Johnny Knoxville and his daredevil buddies interact with dangerous creatures such as scorpions, honeybees, a tarantula, a snake, and a bull.
The movie, which is the first since 2010's Jackass 3-D, has already proved a hit with viewers, making over $23,000,000 since it was released on Friday, according to the IMDB's Box Office Mojo database.
However, PETA is unimpressed about the alleged treatment of animals in the movie, saying in a statement: "Instead of cutting scenes that involved goading a bull into charging, provoking a sensitive snake to the point of attack, and forcing an easily frightened tarantula into an enclosed tube between the heads of two people who were yelling, Paramount Pictures added even more animal-exploiting 'stunts' into the film’s final cut."
The organization went on to say that it is calling on Los Angeles city and San Luis Obispo County prosecutors to investigate the apparent cruelty to animals shown in Jackass Forever. It also urged the public to boycott the movie.
In its statement, PETA cited a number of the stunts that the organization deems to be problematic.
For example, in one scene, Knoxville provokes bees into stinging Steve-O's penis and in another, a scorpion is placed near actress Rachel Wolfson and is struck repeatedly by comedian Eric Andre until the creature stings her.
The animal activist group also took aim at a scene, featured in the trailer, in which a bull is provoked into charging at Knoxville, which led to him suffering a severe concussion. Also in the movie, a tarantula was placed in an enclosure between two actors' screaming faces.
PETA continued in its statement: "The stunts were apparently filmed in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo Counties, and these exploits may violate California’s prohibitions on bullfighting and similar exhibitions, causing any animal to fight with a human, and cruelty to animals.
"After first urging Jackass Forever producers to remove stunts involving animals from the film, PETA requested a criminal investigation into the production of the movie.
"In a letter to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Abourezk, PETA urged both offices 'to investigate and take appropriate legal action against those involved in filming scenes depicting cruelty to animals in the movie Jackass Forever.'"