Director Michael Bay has been charged with the killing of a pigeon on the set of Netflix’s 6 Underground in Italy in 2018.
Bay has denied the allegations and has reportedly tried several times to communicate with Italian authorities to clear up the matter.
“I am a well-known animal lover and major animal activist,” Bay told TheWrap in a statement. “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 director is confident that he has enough evidence to exonerate the film’s production of these charges — evidence that includes witnesses and safety officers.
“We have clear video evidence, a multitude of witnesses, and safety officers that exonerates us from these claims,” Bay stated. “And disproves their one paparazzi photo — which gives a false story.”
Finally, Bay said he was offered a chance to pay a small fine to settle the issue, but he refused to pay since he does not intend to plead guilty.
“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 clarified.
Italy has a national law that prohibits the harming or killing of pigeons, as the country considers them a protected species. The court case against Bay is currently ongoing, so further specific details are currently under wraps.