Behind the Scenes With Unwilling ‘Actors’
For wild animals, “performing” for the camera is confusing and stressful. Most people do not know, for example, that the chimpanzee “grin” so often seen in movies and on TV is actually a grimace of fear.
The American Humane Association’s (AHA) “No Animals Were Harmed” seal of approval is extremely misleading to filmmakers and audiences alike. The AHA does not monitor the living conditions of animals, pre-production training sessions, the separation of infants from their mothers, or the disposition of animals when they are no longer profitable to their trainers. Animals are at most risk for abuse off set, but the AHA only monitors animals during production.
In order to force young great apes to perform, trainers often beat the animals with fists, clubs, or even broom handles. Systematic abuse of these highly intelligent and sensitive animals causes apes to be constantly anxious and fearful—always anticipating the next blow. Despite pressure from PETA and the availability of many viable alternatives, some companies continue to use great apes and other wild animals in their ad campaigns. Please take a moment to contact the companies listed below.
Fortunately, many companies have made the compassionate decision to leave wild animals out of their ads. And a number of companies and advertising agencies—including Bridgestone Harris Teeter, Gap Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., Young & Rubicam, BBDO, Grey Group, Draftfcb, and Arnold Worldwide—recently pledged to leave great apes out of their ads.
There is no reason for using live animals in film and television when animation, animatronics, computer-generated imagery, and other advanced technologies can produce realistic substitutes. If you see a TV show, commercial, or film that uses animals in an improper way or portrays animals disrespectfully, please contact PETA.