Scott Eastwood has defended his new rodeo film The Longest Ride after the Los Angeles premiere was picketed by animal rights protesters.
The movie, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, was unveiled in L.A. on Sunday night (06Apr15), but the glitzy event was marred by demonstrations outside the screening venue on Hollywood Boulevard.
Protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held up placards branding the movie "The cruelest ride" (sic) amid fears the bull-riding scenes in the movie hurt the animals.
PETA spokesman Liam Conim says, "These bulls, they are antagonised into bucking, they don't just do it naturally, they either use electric prods or spurs or, as we saw actually in the preview for this movie, bucking straps... They're in pain, they're uncomfortable, and they're in fear... This isn't an event that should be out here in the public eye, and it certainly shouldn't be romanticised in a Hollywood film."
However, the film's star, Clint Eastwood's son Scott, is adamant members of animals rights organisation the American Humane Society closely monitored the bulls on set and made sure they were well treated.
He says, "The Humane Society were there every day to make sure the bulls were treated better than humans."
The film's bull-riding scenes were managed by members of Professional Bull Riders, INC (PBR), who add in a statement, "The organisation operates under a zero tolerance policy... For any mistreatment of any animal associated with the PBR."