Sid Yost, an animal trainer who has worked on films like Get Out,Logan, and The Hunger Games, has reportedly been fined $30,000 by the U.S. government for physical abuse and neglect violations, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Some of the claims date back to 2008.
Per T.H.R., Yost’s violations include “failing to provide animals with sufficient space, sanitary living conditions, and uncontaminated food.” In addition, he has been accused of using physical abuse against wolves, and hitting tigers, a monkey, and a lion with sticks. In addition to the $30,000 fine, Yost has also reportedly lost his Animal Welfare Act license, which will block him from working on TV and film work. However, it does not stop him from working with other animal trainers and suppliers, as T.H.R. notes.
This is not the first time Yost has been criticized for his treatment of animals. Back in 2013, T.H.R. investigated the longtime trainer after the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed a lengthy complaint against him, which included a variety of additional grim accusations:
“Yost also is accused of providing substandard veterinary care, shoddy shelter, and poorly cleaned facilities, of being unable to account for the acquisition of some animals, including ferrets and a fox—the concern being that they could be black-market purchases—and of employing ‘on multiple occasions’ a stick to hit a monkey named Rowdy, a lion named Romeo, and multiple tigers.”
Yost, who operates out of a 58-acre ranch near Covington, Louisiana, has been in the animal business for nearly four decades. On some occasions, it can be a deeply profitable trade. In a 2013 profile by theTimes-Picayune, which the T.H.R. investigation points out, it was revealed that two of his dogs—a golden retriever named Maverick and a Rottweiler mix named Titus—made $150,000 a year. Dogs end up being “80 percent of what people ask for,” he said.
Lisa Lange, the senior vice president of PETA, released a statement, per T.H.R., after Yost’s license was revoked.
“The authorities did the right thing by fining Sidney Yost and revoking his license, and now Hollywood needs to step up and stop hiring this longtime abuser,” she said.
The news about Yost arrives almost exactly one year after the scandal surrounding the family film A Dog’s Purpose. After a video was leaked of a distressed German shepherd named Hercules seemingly being forced to perform a stunt, PETA encouraged people to boycott the film. Producer Gavin Polone said the video was “an inaccurate picture of what happened” on the set, and star Dennis Quaid defended the film’s crew, saying he “never saw any abuse of any animal.” That wasn’t enough to quell the controversy, but the film ultimately ended up doing just fine at the box office.
Yost did not respond to T.H.R.’s request for comment.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:16 Heist Movies That Will Forever Thrill You
Sometimes it’s O.K. to favor a remake over an original. Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 redux is a nice touch-up on the 1960 Rat Pack heist film, with a glittering cast to match. George Clooney leads a street-smart gang (which includes Brad Pitt,Matt Damon,Don Cheadle, and more) through a clever high-wire heist of a highly protected Las Vegas casino.Photo: From Warner Bros/Everett Collection.
Dog Day Afternoon
The 1975 Sidney Lumet drama starring Al Pacino and John Cazale was based on a true story, and though the heist was relatively small in the scheme of things, what it represented was something much bigger. The simple bank robbery quickly turns into a tense hostage situation that raises questions about love, justice, and antiheroes who aren’t as bad as they seem.Photo: From Everett Collection.
How to Steal a Million
Audrey Hepburn shines in this Parisian delight, which tells the story of a woman whose father is addicted to creating and selling faux artworks that he passes off as long lost pieces by Van Gogh and Cellini.Photo: From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.
Denzel Washington is an N.Y.P.D. negotiator trying to thwart the “perfect robbery” in this high-stakes Spike Lee-directed joint. Clive Owen plays the eerily even-keeled thief who toys with every authority figure he meets.Photo: From Universal/Everett Collection.
The 1955 French drama is still a standard-bearer of the heist genre, a critically acclaimed film noir about a reformed jewel heist aficionado who decides to do one more job.Photo: From Everett Collection.
Speaking of caper classics, The Sting has been a hit since it first came out in theaters in 1973. The period piece about a couple of devilishly handsome con artists (played by Robert Redford and Paul Newman) was a major success, picking up seven Oscars, including one for best picture.Photo: From Everett Collection.
Quentin Tarantino’s bloody feature-length debut is a perfect assemblage of talent, with a tight plot revolving around a diamond heist gone horribly wrong. Harvey Keitel,Steve Buscemi, Tarantino himself, and more make up the slick-talking mobster cast that can’t catch a break.Photo: From Miramax/Everett Collection.PreviousNext
Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.