For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – Alec Baldwin, a longtime PETA patron, is deeply upset, having just discovered that the capuchin monkey exploited at Los Angeles Angels games is the very same one who appeared on 30 Rock, and sent a letter to team owner Arte Moreno today, urging him to end the cruel “Rally Monkey” gimmick.
“I’ve learned that using vulnerable animals for entertainment can have detrimental consequences, and I hope you’ll do your part to end this exploitation,” writes Baldwin. “Capuchin monkeys should be swinging through treetop canopies, not being forced to jump around on set, appear in photos like a prop, or hold a sign in a loud, distressing stadium.”
In the letter, Baldwin explains that the entertainment industry tears monkeys away from their mothers as mere babies, trains them through the fear of punishment, and denies them the chance to engage in natural behavior and normal social interaction. Dressing up these vulnerable and complex animals in costumes also contributes to an uptick in purchases of monkeys as “cute pets”—information Baldwin wishes he had known while filming over a decade ago.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Baldwin has previously appeared on Capitol Hill for PETA to champion the cause of getting animals out of entertainment.
Baldwin’s letter to Moreno follows.
Los Angeles Angels
Dear Mr. Moreno:
Over a decade ago, during a much less enlightened time, a capuchin monkey named Katie appeared on an episode of 30 Rock. It’s for that reason that I’m writing to you today to share my concerns about the airing of “Rally Monkey” footage on the Angels’ jumbotron and the occasional appearance of live monkeys during home games. I’ve learned that using vulnerable animals for entertainment can have detrimental consequences, and I hope you’ll do your part to end this exploitation.
As someone who cares deeply about animals, I was upset to learn that Katie is the same monkey being used for the “Rally Monkey” footage today and has been forced to perform for 30 years. In order to be trained for TV or public interactions, monkeys like her are torn away from their mothers as infants, abusively trained through the fear of punishment, and denied a chance to engage in natural behavior. Capuchin monkeys should be swinging through treetop canopies, not being forced to jump around on set, appear in photos like a prop, or hold a sign in a loud, distressing stadium.
What I wish I knew during 30 Rock was that footage of these animals dressed in clothes and made to perform tricks also fuels the public demand for them as “pets.” A few years after Katie appeared on the show Friends, scores of capuchin monkeys were offloaded after the people who purchased them realized that they couldn’t properly care for these complex, emotional wild animals, who can and will injure humans. We’ll never know how many Angels fans have made similar misguided decisions after being inspired by the “Rally Monkey” footage and how many monkeys have suffered as a result.
It’s not too late to help Katie. Replacing this exploitative footage with an animal-free version would be a simple act with notable impact and would reinvent the team’s tradition to align with the values of today’s fans. I hope you’ll make the compassionate choice and relegate this exploitation to the history books, where it belongs. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.