Lena Dunham Says She Wasn't Aware Dead Cats Were Used in Dissection Scene for HBO Max's Generation

Lena Dunham is speaking out after HBO Max cut a scene from its upcoming teen drama Generation that featured the use of dead cats for a high school biology dissection.

Dunham, an executive producer on the show, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that she wasn't aware of the plans for the scene before it happened, but she supports the decision not to include it in the show.

"I am committed in my life and work to the principled, humane and ethical treatment of animals," she said. "I don't use animal cadavers in any of my work, ever, and I was not on set or aware that they were used in a recently shot scene depicting a biology classroom assignment. I fully support the scene being edited out of the show."

Rumors of the show's use of real cat cadavers first spread on Twitter last week when a user wrote that a friend with knowledge of the show said "they brought in real dead kittens for background to 'dissect' on set. No warning, people had trauma responses."

A spokesperson for HBO Max confirmed the use of animal cadavers in Generation (stylized Genera+ion) and spoke on the network's decision to pull the scene in a statement to Variety on Tuesday.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"Genera+ion depicts the unfiltered experiences of high school students and is drawn from many formative moments in the lives of the show's writers," the statement reads. "The production recently filmed scenes depicting a biology classroom assignment involving dissection of animal specimens. These were ethically sourced in consultation with American Humane via a biological supply company that works with schools."

The spokesperson also said that two extras decided to leave as a result of the scene.

"Everyone involved was informed in advance that this would be a sensitive scene involving a real dissection; the assistant directors checked in regularly with all participants on set, and two background actors who expressed discomfort were released with full pay. However, after subsequent discussion with the creative team, the scene is being reconceived and will not appear in the series. We deeply regret that this occurred."

When reached by PEOPLE for comment, HBO Max referred to the statement provided to Variety. 

The show stars Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton, and was created by Zelda Barnz, 19, and her dad Daniel Barnz.

Source: Read Full Article