Stick With the Banana Stand: Jason Bateman and Will Arnett Receive Backlash for Harmful False Advertising

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3 min read

It looks like Jason Bateman is playing a new role, starring as a deceptive cheese shill. On a recent episode of the podcast Smartless, Bateman endorsed Organic Valley, prompting PETA lawyers to send him a letter regarding the company’s false marketing claim that its products are “ethically sourced”—a claim he propagated in his ad read.

One of Bateman’s cohosts, actor Will Arnett, also faced a backlashand his own letter from PETA—for his endorsement on the podcast of Happy Egg Co. Arnett’s promotion of the company claimed that all eggs it sells come from hens who roam freely on vast acres of land, enjoying their lives to the fullest. However, this is far from the truth for chickens on farms that claim they’re “free-range” or “pasture-raised.”

Public figures are responsible for ensuring their endorsements’ authenticity and integrity. Celebrities have a duty to their audiences to thoroughly vet the products and companies they promote, ensuring they align with ethical standards and deliver on their promises.

Cows watch as a worker takes a calf away on dairy farm

Organic Valley’s Deception

In the dairy industry, companies like Organic Valley—whether they use “organic,” “grass-fed,” “ethically raised,” or any other such label (these labels are also common in the meat industry)—repeatedly impregnate cows to keep them lactating, only to rip newborn calves away from their mothers shortly after birth. This separation inflicts immense trauma on the mother and her calf, so it’s impossible for Organic Valley’s milk or cheese—or any dairy product—to be “ethically sourced.”

Happy Egg Co.’s Misleading Claims

Despite Happy Egg Co.’s marketing portraying idyllic farm scenes and happy hens roaming across expansive pastures, the reality for many of these birds is starkly different. On commercial egg farms, hens are often crammed into severely crowded sheds with limited access to the outdoors. The ongoing avian influenza outbreak has only worsened the situation, with many commercial operations keeping birds indoors indefinitely. Hens in the supply chain of free-range farms aren’t provided with meaningfully higher animal welfare standards as consumers expect. All male chicks are killed soon after they hatch, often by being ground up alive. Hens’ beaks are typically cut, which can lead to lifelong complications and pain. Claims of hens freely roaming on acres of farmland are not only deceptive but also harmful to consumers who are trying to make informed choices about the products they buy.

What Is Humane Washing?

Organic Valley’s and Happy Egg Co.’s marketing is an example of humane washing; a tactic companies use to appeal to consumers’ desire for ethically produced items while conveniently sidestepping the grim reality of animal agriculture. By labeling their products with deceptively positive claims, they trick consumers into thinking they’re making ethical choices when they’re actually supporting animal abuse.

Were You Duped by ‘Humane’ Dairy Claims? Let Us Know!

If you bought eggs, milk, cheese, or another animal-derived product advertised with “humane” logos, slogans, or images of cows on lush green pastures and believe that a company misled you about how the item was produced, we want to hear from you. You have a right to know the truth about what you buy and consume. Please contact us to share your concerns:

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