Producers of "The King's Speech" have settled a dispute with animal rights campaigners who threatened to sue over the use of the phrase 'No Animals Harmed' in the film's credits. Bosses at the American Humane Association (AHA), who have a trademark on the phrase, demanded the removal of the end-credits pledge that no animals were harmed during the shoot, as they were not involved in the production.
The public advocacy group only allows the tag to be used when officials have been given access to the set and copies of the script to certify that animals are treated well, according to the Hollywood Reporter. See-Saw Films executives have since reached out to AHA bosses to assure them animal welfare was a high priority on set, and the matter over the certification used has since "been resolved".
In a statement, See-Saw producer Emile Sherman says, "During the production of The King's Speech we did in fact have the best animal handlers on set to ensure the safety of the animals employed. As an independent U.K. production we were unaware that the phrase 'no animals were harmed' had a certification mark and any implication that the American Humane Association was involved in our U.K. production was unintentional."
"As a director of Voiceless, an animal protection organization, animal welfare is extremely important to me. We have now spoken with the AHA and resolved the issue. The treatment of animals in this film was never an issue. The only issue was inadvertent use by the producers of the AHA's certification mark, which has now been resolved."
"The King's Speech", which stars Colin Firth as stuttering monarch King George VI, is leading the 2011 Academy Awards race after landing 12 nominations.