Why Did ABC Reject This Cute, Nongraphic Ad With a Little Girl in a Turkey Costume?

Network Says PETA Spot With Honest Child in Her School Play Might 'Disturb' Viewers

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2016

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – In a baffling move, ABC—which airs violent, sex-heavy shows such as American Crime and Scandal—has banned PETA’s new Thanksgiving commercial, even though it contains no violent, sexual, or graphic content. Directed by famed director of music videos and commercials Dave Meyers and produced by RadicalMedia, the spot features a little girl dressed as a turkey in her school’s Thanksgiving play who sweetly goes off script to share the ways in which turkeys suffer in the meat industry and encourages everyone to enjoy a vegan holiday dinner.

The ad (available here) begins with the little girl saying, “And the Pilgrims and the Native Americans gave thanks that day. But not the turkey. Because he knew this was as good as it was gonna get.”

PETA had intended for the ad to air during Black-ish or Modern Family—two shows that discuss moral issues and feature smart and independent kids. But in an e-mail to PETA, an ABC representative argued that even though the commercial doesn’t contain sex, violence, or profanity, the network is “concerned that some viewers, particularly as we enter the holiday season, could be disturbed by the graphic description offered by the child dressed as a turkey.”

“What’s truly disturbing is ABC’s decision to reject a lighthearted message of compassion amid all the violent content that gets the green light,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “This Thanksgiving, PETA urges families to carve out a new tradition by giving turkeys a break and opting for a delicious cruelty-free vegan feast instead.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that in nature, turkeys are protective and loving parents as well as spirited explorers who can climb trees and run as fast as 25 mph. But in the industrialized meat industry, more than 230 million of these gentle birds are killed each year—and more than 45 million of them are slaughtered for Thanksgiving alone. Many are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re dumped into scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.

PETA offers a free vegan starter kit full of recipes, tips, and more.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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 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