PETA Urges Kate McKinnon, Queen Latifah to Keep Real Tigers off Screen

Published by Zachary Toliver.

The world just can’t seem to get enough of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. And while PETA would’ve liked to have seen the show focus more on the abuse that animals routinely endure at roadside zoos, the good news is that Tiger King has drawn global attention to this cruel, exploitative industry—and the public is on the tigers’ side.

Tigers are taking center stage in the 2020 zeitgeist: Now, we’re urging two of Hollywood’s beloved female stars to ensure that tigers—and all other wild animals—are kept out of their upcoming projects. Check back here for updates as we learn more from each production!

Queen Latifah: Only CGI Tigers Belong in The Tiger Rising

After PETA heard that Queen Latifah’s upcoming movie The Tiger Rising apparently features scenes filmed using a real tiger, we wrote to the film’s star and executive producer, urging her to scrap the footage and only use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to portray the animal.

“With production schedules in limbo because of COVID-19, we urge The Tiger Rising crew to use this extra time to remove any real tiger appearances in the film and use only computer-generated imagery to depict the animal,” writes PETA. “When filmmakers use real wild animals, it normalizes exploitation, supports cruel breeding and training practices, and causes major setbacks to advocates’ work.”

Kate McKinnon: Please Keep Real Tigers out of Your Joe Exotic Series

PETA sent urgent letters asking Kate McKinnon and Universal Content Productions not to use real wild animals in their upcoming series about Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka “Joe Exotic”), the big-cat exhibitor profiled in the Tiger King, which chronicles the events that led to his 22-year prison sentence for murder-for-hire and wildlife crimes.

While we don’t anticipate that a story about wild-animal abuse would feature real animals, who suffer when used for television, PETA hopes to get confirmation that CGI, animatronics, or even existing footage—instead of big cats and other wild animals—will be used for the show.

Big Cats Don’t Belong on the Big Screen

Animals suffer when used for entertainment, whether by roadside zoo operators like those featured in Tiger King or by trainers for the film and TV industries. PETA and law-enforcement investigations have revealed that animals are whipped, illegally trafficked, and kept in deplorable conditions by animal suppliers for Hollywood.

Most wild animals do everything they can to avoid humans. They value their lives and would never intentionally put themselves in harm’s way. But those used by trainers are forced into close proximity with their captors and are typically deprived of their families, their freedom, and anything remotely natural or important to them.

Animals used in the entertainment industry are routinely separated from their mothers prematurely and denied the maternal care that they need for normal development, which can result in extreme physical and psychological distress. When no longer deemed “useful,” many animals used for film or TV are dumped at seedy roadside zoos, which is what was done to the chimpanzees seen in Tiger King.

Help other suffering animals who’ve been robbed of their dignity and forced to perform for human entertainment.

If you witness animals being used for a film or TV show, report it to PETA right away at or contact PETA’s confidential whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233.

Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of them are forced to perform meaningless, confusing tricks under the threat being whipped, beaten, poked, and prodded. Please join PETA in advocating for those used for entertainment:

Speak Out Against Wild-Animal Acts!

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind