B-52s Hit Circus With Cease and Desist Letter for Using Songs During Cruel Elephant Act

Band Speaks Out on Video After Circus Caught Beating Elephants Uses B-52s Songs Without Permission

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Hugo, Okla. – After learning from PETA that Carson & Barnes Circus recently used the B-52s songs “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” in its controversial elephant act, the band sent the circus a cease and desist letter this morning demanding that it stop using their songs—and urging it to end all animal acts as other circuses have.

Referring to this footage of the circus that performs nationwide and supplies elephant acts to other circuses around the country, singer Kate Pierson says in a new PETA video, “The man in this elephant act was caught on tape by PETA beating the elephants with bullhooks and jabbing them with electric prods…. [O]ur message to our fans and our friends and our families is stay away from cruel circuses and go to some great circuses … that don’t use animal acts.”

The B-52s, who are playing 60 shows this year as part of their 40th anniversary tour, have been PETA advocates since the 1980s. PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

The B-52s’ letter to Carson & Barnes Circus follows.

Geary and Barbara Miller Byrd

Owners

Carson & Barnes Circus

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Byrd,

We were alarmed when we learned from our friends at PETA that your “animal care director,” Tim Frisco, used our songs “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” during his Carson & Barnes act featuring three elephants in Kissimmee, Florida, recently.

We’ve seen the footage of Frisco cursing at elephants, shocking them with electric prods, and telling his trainers to drive bullhooks—heavy weapons with sharp steel tips—into their bodies and twist them until the animals scream in pain. We’re also aware of Carson & Barnes’ multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act for failing to provide animals with minimum space, protection from the weather, and necessities such as clean water and adequate veterinary care.

Kelly Miller Circus, which once used elephants from your circus, is now animal-free. Stardust Circus recently dropped your elephant act, and Cole Bros. Circus—where Frisco was a trainer—stopped touring. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed down because it wouldn’t change with the times. Carson & Barnes should follow the lead of Kelly Miller, Circus Vargas, Cirque Italia, and all the other circuses that are thriving because they feature only willing human performers.

This letter shall serve as our demand that Carson & Barnes immediately cease and desist from any and all further use of any B-52s music in connection with any circus act or performance. Should you ignore this demand, we reserve the right to pursue all applicable legal remedies available to us.

We and our songs are all about freedom and fun—things that animals in the circus sadly never experience.

Sincerely,

Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson, and Keith Strickland

The B-52s

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“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