Alan Cumming, Lily Tomlin, Tim Gunn, and Jillian Michaels Celebrate PETA’s 40th Anniversary

For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Last night, several gay icons took part in PETA’s virtual 40th Anniversary and Holiday Party, which celebrated four decades of victories for animals and honored the celebrities who have helped make them happen. The event was cohosted by Alan Cumming—with special appearances by Tim Gunn, Jillian Michaels, and others—and its honorees included Lily Tomlin.

Cumming, a PETA honorary director—who appeared virtually from his native Scotland— quipped, “1980 was a very fruitful year: CNN debuted. It was the dawn of Pac Man and of fax machines. OK, not everything from 1980 made it to 2020, but PETA did, so let’s party!”

Dolly Parton presented a PETA Humanitarian Award to her 9 to 5 costar and longtime pal Tomlin, whose many campaigns for PETA have included a video spoof in which her legendary feisty phone operator character, Ernestine, fields complaint calls at SeaWorld, “where everybody has a whale of a time—except for the whales.”

Accepting her award, Tomlin said, “As a cause queen, I care about many issues, but when it comes to helping animals, PETA is one-stop shopping. I’ve worked with them to fight against the Iditarod, against animal experiments, to free animals from circuses and marine parks. In my first PETA ad, I urged people to remove the unsightly hair from their back: their fur coats. Now PETA has got people shedding their skins, from leather to exotics.”

During the show, Michaels highlighted PETA’s progress in ending the use of animals in entertainment and Gunn praised PETA’s work in the fashion sector persuading designers to ban fur and exotic skins, as dozens have done over the last few decades. Cumming closed the evening with a piano rendition of the traditional Scottish song “We’re No Awa’ Tae Bide Awa’.”

Video clips are available here and more information about the event is available here.

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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