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European Lunacy: Hollywood Director Charged with ‘Taking a Life’ on Set of Blockbuster

Hollywood director and producer Michael Bay has been charged by Italian authorities in connection with an on-set death during the filming of the Netflix movie “6 Underground,” TheWrap reported Thursday. Unlike the other famous on-set death in recent memory (here’s looking at you, Alec Baldwin), Bay isn’t accused of being involved in taking another human being’s life. Bay’s charges are connected to the alleged death of a pigeon on set. Yes, seriously. According to TheWrap, a homing pigeon was allegedly killed by a dolly while the team was filming in Rome in 2018. An unnamed individual saw the poor bird die mid-take, snapped a photo of the dead pigeon and shared said photo with Italian authorities. In Italy, it is illegal to “capture, harm, or kill” any wild birds, according to the New York Post, and they also are protected under the European Union’s Birds Directive. The European Commission bans “activities that directly threaten birds, such as their deliberate killing, capture or trade, or the destruction of their nests,” with some very limited exceptions. Bay is being held responsible as the director of the film in question, TheWrap reported. The director and producer, known for big-budget action movies such as “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor” and the “Transformers” series, adamantly denied the allegations. “I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist,” Bay said in a statement to TheWrap. “No animal involved in the production was injured or harmed,” he said. “Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.” Bay said he was presented with an opportunity to let things go with a fine, but he was not having any of it. “I was offered by the Italian authorities a chance to settle this matter by paying a small fine, but I declined to do so because I would not plead guilty to having harmed an animal,” he said. What’s more, he said he possesses the ability to disprove assertions concerning his alleged crime. “We have clear video evidence … a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims,” Bay said. “And disproves their one paparazzi photo — which gives a false story.” He and his legal team have attempted to have the case thrown out of court no less than three times in the past year, according to TheWrap. The outlet reported that Italian authorities didn’t respond to its requests for comment. For now, it seems, they will continue to seek “justice” for the death of a bird, and Bay will refuse to take a tiny slap on the wrist and risk being looked at as having harmed an animal. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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