So many movies have that familiar phrase “no animals were harmed in the making of this film” stuck somewhere in their credits that it’s easy to forget it’s even there. But as it turns out, you have to be careful not to throw that phrase around all willy-nilly, or you’ll end up like Emile Sherman, producer of “The King’s Speech”: on the wrong side of the American Humane Association.
As it turns out, the phrase “No Animals Were Harmed” is a trademark owned by the AHA, and can only be used in films where the AHA has directly monitored the treatment of animals on set and given their own grade to the production. “The King’s Speech” made the mistake of including the phrase in their credits when the AHA was not involved in the production, which prompted the AHA to send a letter to the Weinstein Company asking for the phrase to be removed.
Sherman responded quickly, saying that the matter has been resolved. However, with the phrase removed, Sherman also wanted to make sure everyone was properly reassured about the film’s animal handling: “During the production of The King’s Speech we did in fact have the best animal handlers on set to ensure the safety of the animals employed,” said Sherman. “As an independent UK production we were unaware that the phrase ‘no animals were harmed’ had a certification mark.”
Sherman also mentioned that he is a director of the animal protection organization Voiceless, and that animal protection is “very important” to him. So it’s great to see yet another activist involved with “The King’s Speech,” as star Colin Firth is already well-known as an eco-minded guy!