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A Brief Exchange With Queen Aretha Franklin

Written by PETA | February 14, 2008

One of our most popular anti-fur slogans here at PETA is “Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people”. And we’ve got some great ads to back it up. But the pictures that have been circulating of Aretha Franklin at the Grammy awards last week don’t even really need the tagline to drive that point home. She looks like a walrus in a cat costume. Except, like, nowhere near as cute as that sounds.

Here’s the note that PETA VP Dan Mathews sent to Aretha, who got all in a tizzy yesterday about the fact that Beyonce called Tina Turner “the Queen” and not her.

Dear Aretha-

Music lovers may think of you as a “queen,” but to animal lovers, you are a court jester. I’m sorry, Aretha, but your furs make you look like a clown. Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Won’t you donate your furs to the poor as “queen of compassion,” Mariah Carey, did? You’ll get a tax credit for the donation, and we at PETA will all sing your praises.

Dan Mathews


Commenting is closed.
  • Patrick D says:

    I think aretha should just stop singing all together 45 50 yrs is a long time to be singing

  • Derek says:

    I doubt Aretha purchased the fur coats recently more than likely when fur was more acceptable. Leave the lady alone there are worse things going on in the world than Aretha Franklin wearing fur…Get over yourselves. Aretha please don’t buy any new fur but if you’ve got it flaunt it!

  • jhon says:

    aretha clotheing is a dont. horrible style and whats with the low cut syuff?

  • Curtis says:

    Fur is so unattractive!

  • brook says:

    Get over it. You will be onto someone else next week about wearing fur.

  • ren says:

    I am Ashamed of all of you…walruses aren’t that bad! and “dear” aretha what the flip have you ever done for the human race? eh?

  • baobabtree9 says:

    It is wrong to wear fur no matter what size you are and it is wrong to criticize her use of fur just because of her weight. The Olsen Twins are tiny and wear fur all the time. No one should wear fur. Period.

  • Knena says:

    Poor Aretha! She does look like a walrus in a bunny costume

  • e says:

    I am first of all disgusted with all the fat comments on this page. There are plenty of overweight and unhealthy vegans and vegetarians not to mention animal rights activists out there. That said you made IMDb celeb news.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    BullyDawg If you are a practing Buddhist. You give up meat you most certainly do not wear furs. One thing we did not approve of about the movie is that they never spoke of his vegetarianism. This was so important to him and his family and the people. We must face it the people in Hollywood that claim they are Buddhists are nothing but low liers. Shame shame shame on them in Gandhi’s name. Peace!

  • Rebecca says:

    Ya know what I relly don’t care if the woman gets so big she explodes I was raised listening to her sing and I used to Admire her not now that i see her in that coat and what she said to Mr. Mathews Man what an arrogant self absorbed hypocrite she is. walks around like she is such a fine Christian yeah whatever lady. now I have no respect for her at all and all of those celebrities and designers that have stopped wearing and using fur I commend and respect you tremendously. Aretha GET OVER YOURSELF HONEY!!!! you aint that special. Beyonce was right Tina is the Queen you aint even in the Castle anymore baby. Hey Mr. Mathews send Aretha Franklin to a fur farm and make her watch where her furs come from.

  • Ashes says:

    How did you find out it’s a real fur and not fake? I don’t know enough about fake fur to know if it’s that obvious from a photo. Or maybe she gave one of those silly red carpet interviews where she told what she was wearing? After all it would be major egg on your face to send her a public message about wearing fur that taunts her for her weight only to find out it wasn’t real.

  • Jackie Doty says:

    Her ego is actually bigger than her ass!! If that is possible. She is not the queen of soul she is the queen of nothing. She lost her soul the day she lost all sense of compassion. Another selfish “all about me” shallow celeb.

  • EllaC says:

    so many beautiful animals fur ..wasted on such an … ‘uncompassionate blob’.. sorry..but it’s the truth..she’s totally incompassionate.. should be less of the furry wearing stuff and reading up more on what the nightmarish hell these animals go thorugh in these fur farms.. not Soul woman .. more SOULLESS..!!

  • sugar candy says:

    BullyDawg there are some other interesting news besides Tina Turner! Mother Theresa was also a vegetarian and she had a libanese vegetarian cook named Mariam Nour! When you go to Google and write ‘Mariam Nour Vegetarian’ you shall find the article! It’s very interesting!

  • sugar candy says:

    BullyDawg Tina Turner is a vegetarian and long time buddhist if she is sporting fur i don’t know but i don’t hope so! Anyhow i never saw her in one.

  • Mary says:

    Aretha Sweetie Seeing that awful photo of you you are the best antifur advert I have seen recently. Leave the fur where it belongs on the precious animals who died in agony just so you could look like that!! Hang your head in shame.

  • Sher says:

    Does she really want to add the extra pounds???

  • BullyDawg says:

    Does anyone know anything about Tina Turner and AR? Does she wear fur is she a vegan etc.? I understand she is a Buddhist. I’m wondering because Tina was born in 1939 and looks FABULOUS…Aretha was born in 1942 and…eh not so much. I guess we know who the true Queen is!

  • Mister Jingles says:

    now i’m confused! on the fabulousfur website she is mentioned as one of their first clients so i thought that she was sporting fauxfur????

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    She does look like some sort of pinniped how clever.

  • Megan says:

    That is the funniest picture I’ve ever seen. She does look like a walrus in a cat costume.

  • Amber Falobas says:

    I have no RESPECT for her now. Eff you Aretha. I might change my mind if you give up wearing fur though

  • Billy Brown says:

    How horrible that these gorgeous animals died for this fat slob. Typically it can take up to 70 animals to make one fur coat but in this case it looks more like 140 if you know what I mean.

  • Cathy Shipp says:

    I think you should send you a copy of the picture of the animals being skinned for their furs.

  • Mike says:

    She looks like Ursula from the Little Mermaid in this picture… Both evil and vile.

  • SNL says:

    Grrrrrrrr! did you call Jenny yet?

  • Tracy says:

    look at that i do not know what to say but what a waste

  • Canaduck says:

    Oh that’s TERRIBLE. And I really like her voice!!

  • Veronica says:

    WOW. SHE. LOOKS. AWFUL!!!! Not only is that the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen thats cruel to wear real fur and its out of style! She needs to look at this picture for herself.

  • Nancy says:

    Only people with zero fashion sense like Aretha wear fur. That whole thing she is wearing is atrocious!

  • Michele says:

    She looks like a caricature. I would never have even realized that was her in the picture if I had seen it out of context. What a horrible coat just think of all of the beautiful animals that had to suffer so terribly for something so completely useless.

  • Coleen Tew says:

    I noticed also in another picture she was wearing a brown mink jacket. Man my respect no pun intended for her took a serious nosedive. I just cannot understand this. Surely Aretha you have heard about the suffering that these unfortunate animals endure. And no offence but it looks like quite a few animals were put to a painful death for that hideous white fur coat. Shame on you. Educate yourself on this matter. Please.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    She has crossed the line.

  • GC says:

    she looks like a huge white ‘furry walrus’.. minus the whiskers and flippers.. 1

  • rose says:

    that does make her look fat!

  • Isabella says:

    Brilliant and she isn’t the only one. The majority of the “hiphop community” wear fur. It disgusts me.

  • Caboose says:

    id say she looks like a fish due to the pattern of the black dress p

  • Maureen says:

    The true meaning of soul is the part of us that is immortal. So how come so many so called soul singers strut around in the mortal remains of animals that have been tortured and abused. These people sing their hearts out about sufference but it seems to me the true meaning of the word is lost on them. Divas indeed!! If you call yourself a soul singer you would never wear fur!!

  • Deepshikha says:

    That was…a bit harsh but he has a point there.

  • Michael says:

    It still amazes me at how disconnected some people can be when it comes to wearing fur. I often wonder how many people who wear fur have actually seen the process of making their “fabulous” fur coats. It would really bother me if someone continued to wear fur after seeing an animal skinned alive for such a false sense of luxury.

  • Jaclyn says:

    Don’t people get how cruel fur is? It is not a sign of wealth but a sign of cruelty! How hard is it to say I simply will not wear fur???

  • Mabel says:

    It’s not the fur that makes her look bad. The dress is awful. If anything the coat would help her look better by hiding the dress if it were closed! Telling a woman with weight problems that furs add to her frame is not a smart tactic. Her assistant isn’t likely to let her see such a letter and if she did her reaction would more likely be one of anger hurt or getting defensive than actually paying attention to anything else said.

  • Ana says:

    Shameful!!! All that talent but no compassion.

  • Carla says:

    WTF!!?? Some people are just plain crazy! She must have a mirror in that changing room!?

  • Diana says:

    My goodness…what was she thinking! Her stylist should be shot for letting her out of the house looking like that! Or at least given an electric shock up the a just as the helpless animals that she’s wearing did. IDIOTS!

  • T says:

    Well said…Aretha always wears fur and she looks ridiculous.

  • Sarah says:

    Oh…my gosh.

  • common sense steve says:

    dear dan….. please mind your own friggin business….. and then just maybe when peta gives an iota about the human race…maybe we can chat… love and kisses aretha