Bill Maher’s New Documentary Exposes the Dark Side of Science

For Immediate Release:
January 9, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


First he brought us Real Time, then Vice, and now Bill Maher has a new docuseries that pulls back the curtain on the multibillion-dollar experimentation industry in the U.S. The PETA honorary director is the executive producer of The Failed Experiment, which explores why there are so few cures and effective treatments for the deadliest diseases—including Alzheimer’s, many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, and ALS—and provides much-needed solutions for modernizing the world of research. The series starts streaming on January 9. Available on Prime Video.

Each brief but riveting episode reveals how the country’s heavy reliance on archaic experiments on animals is causing the U.S. to lose its place as the world leader in research and technological advances. Featuring interviews with scientists, experts from PETA, a Harvard University physician, and a former primate experimenter, the series breaks down the wastefulness of the National Institutes of Health’s $45 billion annual budget—taxpayer money that’s used to treat animals in laboratories like pincushions and test tubes while humans die without cures for illnesses, even though modern, human-relevant, animal-free testing methods are readily available. It shines a spotlight on the failures of animal experimentation and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of animals in laboratories.

“We’ve all lost loved ones to diseases, but did you ever wonder why there are so few cures?” asks Maher. “The Failed Experiment dismantles America’s archaic research program and exposes the bias that is preventing progress.”

monkey with needle shadow over his face next to text "From Executive Producer Bill Maher. The Failed Experiment"

Every year, 110 million animals die in U.S. laboratories, but studies show that 95% of all new medications that test safe and effective in animals later fail in human clinical trials. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a comprehensive strategy for replacing such experiments with superior methods.

Among the experts interviewed are Mitchell Klausner, previous president of MatTek Corporation, a global leader in supplying animal-free testing models that use real human tissue; John Pawlowski, M.D., codirector of the Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center at the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose groundbreaking research on non-animal simulators aims to shift the global paradigm away from using animals in biomedical education; Rolf Kleiner, former president of InVitro International, which developed the first non-animal test to be accepted by the government,; Rich Ulmer, the current president and CEO of InVitro International; and John Gluck, Ph.D., emeritus professor of psychology at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at the University of New Mexico, a trained primatologist and a clinical and research psychologist focused on bioethics and research ethics.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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