Let it be known that police in Rome take an on-set death very seriously. Allegations of a murder on a Michael Bay film shoot in 2018 while the Netflix action thriller was shooting in Italy. True, it was only a pigeon, but Italian authorities are adamant it’s a serious matter.
“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. Or on any other production I’ve worked on in the past 30 years.”
The charges stem from an unnamed individual who claims a homing pigeon was killed by a dolly in the middle of a take in Rome. This person witnessed the incident, took a picture, and then reported it to authorities. Italy has a national law that outlaws harming, killing, or capturing any wild bird- including pigeons. Pigeons are also a protected species under the E.U. Birds Directive.
While no one is claiming Bay killed the bird himself, since he is the director, he is being held liable. Bay and his legal team have made 3 different attempts in the past year to have the case thrown out. “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,” Bay said.
“We have clear video evidence,” Bay claims. “a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims. And disproves their one paparazzi photo — which gives a false story.” If this is true, it would explain he will not pay a fine for a crime he can prove wasn’t committed.
Unfortunately, public details on this case will probably remain murky until it is closed. “There is an ongoing court case so I cannot get into the specifics, but I am confident we will prevail when I have my day in court,” Bay explains.
Skydance, who financed “6 Underground,” has refused to comment. Netflix, and Italian local and state authorities have also not commented.
Bay and his legal team have since called the accusations “false, reckless and defamatory.”