Box-Office Boycott: Skip ‘Jackass Forever’ This Weekend

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4 min read

“Some people never learn.” It’s what the folks behind Jackass Forever would have you believe. But PETA thinks there’s a valuable lesson for the people involved in the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie to learn, perhaps by way of prosecution: Abusing animals is unacceptable.

Instead of cutting scenes that involved goading a bull into charging, provoking a sensitive snake to the point of attack, and forcing an easily frightened tarantula into an enclosed tube between the heads of two people who were yelling, Paramount Pictures added even more animal-exploiting “stunts” into the film’s final cut. PETA is calling on Los Angeles city and San Luis Obispo County prosecutors to investigate the apparent cruelty to animals depicted in the film and asking moviegoers to boycott Jackass Forever.

This renewed push for an investigation and potential criminal charges sends a clear message to Hollywood that using and abusing animals in films and television shows is cruel, unimaginative, and (we believe) illegal. Animals are not actors—they didn’t consent to these horrific stunts, and they shouldn’t be used for our entertainment.

Did Jackass Forever break California animal protection laws when it tormented animals?

The Jackass Forever trailer showed Johnny Knoxville being charged by a bull, Sean McInerney being bitten on the nose by a snake, and a tarantula trapped in a plastic tube between and Compston Wilson’s heads.

‘Jackass Forever’ Stunts: Crude, Cruel, and … Criminal?
Snakes are naturally reclusive and typically retreat from humans unless provoked. “This snake was forced into a novel, completely unnatural environment with bright lights and loud sounds (the vibrations of which snakes are very sensitive to), and likely forcibly handled,” PETA noted. “The conditions likely caused the snake mental distress to the point that the snake felt threatened and attacked as a fear response.”
‘Jackass Forever’ Stunts: Crude, Cruel, and … Criminal?
When bulls like this one charge, it’s often a result of being goaded. “To prompt him to attack, this bull was likely ‘teased and taunted,’” we wrote in our letter.
‘Jackass Forever’ Stunts: Crude, Cruel, and … Criminal?
Like snakes, tarantulas are sensitive to vibrations, which they use to detect danger, so loud sounds and foreign environments are especially stressful for them. “[T]he possibility of either of these two people participating in this stunt ripping off their helmets and causing the tarantula to fall out of the tube is a deadly situation for the spider,” we point out in our letter.

The stunts were apparently filmed in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo Counties, and these exploits may violate California’s prohibitions on bullfighting and similar exhibitions, causing any animal to fight with a human, and cruelty to animals.

After first urging Jackass Forever producers to remove stunts involving animals from the film, PETA requested a criminal investigation into the production of the movie. In a letter to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Abourezk, PETA urged both offices “to investigate and take appropriate legal action against those involved in filming scenes depicting cruelty to animals in the movie Jackass Forever.”

Now, following a screening of Jackass Forever that reveals more apparent cruelty to animals—such as a stunt in which Knoxville and Steve-O provoke honeybees into stinging Steve-O’s penis (killing many of them) and another in which a scorpion is placed near Rachel Wolfson’s mouth and repeatedly hit by Eric André until the animal stings—PETA sent letters to Los Angeles city and San Luis Obispo County prosecutors, calling for a criminal investigation into the film’s production. By investigating and holding Jackass Forever accountable for any violations revealed, authorities would be reminding the film industry that abusing animals is never OK.

Jackass stunts are violent and vulgar, but if the talent is willing and the wounds are self-inflicted, that’s one thing—however, it’s quite another when animals are exploited, harassed, and harmed: That’s cruelty,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.

Urge Jackass Forever to learn the difference: Knoxville opted to put on an outfit, enter the ring, and take part in a dangerous stunt—but the bull the movie exploited and likely taunted into charging Knoxville could never be a consenting participant. 

We’re urging moviegoers to skip Jackass Forever. And please contact Paramount Pictures and the film’s cast via their official social media accounts to let them know that cruelty to animals is no joke—and that’s why you won’t be watching.

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