Amazon Prime Video is canceling its canine competition format The Pack after one season.
The format is hosted by U.S. Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn (pictured) and produced by Renegade83 (Discovery’s Naked and Afraid).
The Wrap first reported the cancellation, which comes a month after non-profit organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) penned a letter condemning the series.
A studio source, however, tells Realscreen the show’s cancellation was not connected to the PETA controversy.
In December, the organization wrote a letter to Amazon Studios’ head of unscripted TV Chris Castallo after supposedly leaked raw footage clips that ultimately weren’t used in the series surfaced via The Wrap.
The letter from PETA’s senior manager, Animals in Film and Television, Lauren Thomasson reads: “We were alerted to this video of a senior dog dangling from someone’s harness and paddling in a futile effort to gain his footing before getting swung into a rock face, evidently during the filming of The Pack.
“Nothing about this dog says ‘happy to be here.’ He seems worried, and being attached to a climber ascending a rock face would obviously be terrifying for animals, rather than a ‘fun and exciting’ way of ‘celebrating their incredible bond’ with humans. The incident establishes exactly why real dogs and other animals don’t belong in films or on TV as well as the way their safety and well-being are sacrificed for ratings.”
The Pack saw 12 teams of humans and their dogs face challenges across multiple continents, designed in concert with a team of accredited veterinarians and certified “dog experts,” according to Amazon.
The winning team were awarded US$500,000 for themselves, as well as $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.
While filming, Amazon stated it donated an additional $250,000 to multiple charities and animal rescue organizations in each country the adventure competition visited.
It was executive produced by Jay Bienstock alongside Renegade 83′s Jay Renfroe and David Garfinkle.
This is not the first time PETA has condemned unscripted programming featuring animals.
Just yesterday (Jan. 13), the organization issued a letter to Brett Weitz, general manager of WarnerMedia-owned TBS, calling on the network to not air alligator and snake acts advertised to appear in upcoming episodes of its talent competition Go-Big Show. In November 2019, PETA took aim at Discovery Channel for Man Vs. Bear, produced by Kinetic Content, which pitted humans against grizzly bears.