Adapted from Frank Manley's debut novel The Cockfighter, this film takes a harsh look at cockfighting in Kentucky through the eyes of Sonny (Quertermous), a 12-year-old boy introduced to the bloody activity by his abusive, hard-drinking father.
- Starring: Mark Boone Jr., Catherine Kellner and John Quertermous
- Director(s): Shane Dax Taylor
- Producer(s): Mark Boone Jr.
- Screenwriter(s): Shane Dax Taylor, Mark Boone Jr.
- Distributor: Newmark, Echelon Entertainment Group LLC
- Release Date: Friday, February 20, 2004
Featured Animal Action
American Humane's role American Humane's Film & Television Unit did not monitor The Grey, an independent film by Dax Productions. The Film & Television Unit's work is funded by a grant from the Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund – administered by trustees of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – which allocates resources solely to cover SAG domestic projects under the SAG/AMPTP codified agreement. Non-SAG productions do have the option of contracting for American Humane's monitoring services. However, this does not guarantee that the film will receive American Humane's End Credit Disclaimer, since the Disclaimer is awarded exclusively on the basis of animal treatment during production. The filmmakers of The Grey did not request American Humane's services, and since American Humane was not present to witness the extensive animal action firsthand, the film has been rated "Not Monitored." Why is American Humane concerned? In cockfights, specially bred roosters are pitted against each other to fight to the death, and handlers often strap sharp blades to the birds' legs to enhance the bloodletting. Although 48 states have outlawed cockfighting, there are two states in which the practice is still legal—New Mexico and Louisiana. The film's director has stated that "to escape the wrath" of animal rights activists, the cockfighting scenes were accomplished with "trick photography and props that resemble teeny-tiny rubber boxing gloves." Click here and see The Heather Channel. American Humane's Certified Animal Safety saw a screening of the film, which raised concerns regarding animal treatment. American Humane contacted the filmmakers' attorney J.A. Ted Baer with questions directly related to the animal action seen on screen. This correspondence took place in December 2003, and, as of August 2004, neither the filmmakers nor their legal representatives have made any attempt to provide American Humane with details of how the action in The Grey was achieved.