PETA is obsessed with that dang dog in A Star Is Born, and why the hell shouldn’t it be? It’s Bradley Cooper’s real doggo, after all, one he named after his late father, Charlie, who died in 2011. The animal rights organization previously honored Cooper with a Compassion In Film award for casting his own dog, and is now naming him the year’s Best Director.
The distinction comes via PETA’s “Oscat” awards, which it bestows upon films and stars who promote kindness to animals or better, more humane treatment of live creatures on set. Cooper, in particular, is being honored “for his enlightened decision to cast his own canine companion in A Star Is Born rather than using one supplied by a notorious animal exhibitor.”
“There was no nepotism — I wanted this relationship with the dog,” Cooper told People at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “[Jackson and Ally] don’t have a child together but they have a dog together, and I wanted it to be part of their story. I love dogs.”
While this likely won’t appease celebrity-defender Sean Penn, it should provide something of a salve for Cooper, who, despite his film scoring eight Oscar nominations, is still “embarrassed” for not getting a Best Director nod from the Academy. Well, either that or he’ll develop a simmering resentment for Charlie, one that will culminate with Cooper pissing himself and getting slapped around by Andrew “Dice” Clay after Charlie accepts all of the film’s statuettes a week from Sunday. Nobody tell him that Charlie has also been recognized by The Ringer’s Dog Oscars.
Elsewhere in the Oscats, Black Panther was named The Cat’s Meow, which, sure, while the film’s Winston Duke took home Best Actor for playing vegetarian tribe leader M’Baku. Natalie Portman’s all-vegan wardrobe for Vox Lux was also honored, as was Jason Reitman’s Tully, which apparently “[raises] awareness about the plight of chickens on meat farms.”
See the full list of winners at Entertainment Weekly.