Lena Dunham is addressing the use of real dead cats in the teen drama, Generation, for a scene showing a high school biology dissection.
The HBO Max series which Lena is executive producing, had actors dissect the corpses of cats during a scene that follows a high school biology class, as per a Variety report published on Tuesday, February 9. The incident was later confirmed which revealed that two of the extras even left because of their discomfort.
On the other hand, Lena has explained that she was not the set during the whole incident. She is in London directing the film, ‘Catherine, Called Birdy,’ that stars Andrew Scott.
After the incident came to light, several animal rights activists and social media users were enraged. Then, Lena finally gave a statement to Variety as she clearly explained the whole issue.
I am committed in my life and work to the principled, humane and ethical treatment of animals. I don’t use animal cadavers in any of my work, ever, and I was not on set or aware that they were used in a recently shot scene depicting a biology classroom assignment.” - Lena Dunham
HBO Max later revealed to Variety that following the discussions about the controversial scene with the creative team, they decided the scene would be “reconceived” and would not appear onscreen.
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Lena made it obvious that she was supported the decision by noting, “I fully support the scene being edited out of the show.”
A spokesperson from HBO Max said the team members “deeply regret that this occurred.”
Making a statement, the spokesperson said, “Genera+ion depicts the unfiltered experiences of high school students and is drawn from many formative moments in the lives of the show’s writers. The production recently filmed scenes depicting a biology classroom assignment involving dissection of animal specimens. These were ethically sourced in consultation with American Humane via a biological supply company that works with schools.”
The statement further continued, “Everyone involved was informed in advance that this would be a sensitive scene involving a real dissection; the assistant directors checked in regularly with all participants on set, and two background actors who expressed discomfort were released with full pay.”
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Several rumors of the show’s use of actual cat corpses first spread on Twitter last week when a user wrote that a friend with knowledge of the show revealed that “they brought in real dead kittens for background to ‘dissect’ on set. No warning, people had trauma responses.”
The show, ‘Generation,’ was created by Zelda Barnz, 19, and her dad, Daniel Barnz. It stars Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton.