Casey Affleck Pulls Back the Curtain to Reveal Cruelty in Circuses

Manchester by the Sea Star's New PETA Campaign Exposes How Tigers Are Whipped Into Performing Tricks

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2017

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Boston – Fresh from his Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for Manchester by the Sea, Casey Affleck has teamed up with PETA for a new video calling on families to avoid circuses that use live animals. Revealing that tigers and other big cats used for entertainment are confined to tiny barren cages and whipped in order to make them perform tricks, the Oscar nominee says, “I choose to work in the entertainment industry, but animals in circuses and other traveling shows are never given a choice.”

Although Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently announced its impending closure, there are still multiple traveling circuses in the U.S. that use live animals. nd as a parent, Affleck says that he was particularly horrified to learn that terrified cubs are typically taken away from their mothers at a young age, in order to make them easier to control and to accustom them to human handling.

“This industry tears families apart and subjects individuals to a life of torment and deprivation,” says Affleck. “[Trainers] drag the big cats around by heavy chains or ropes around their necks and hit them with sticks, poles, and whips. They beat them mercilessly and bully them into jumping through hoops.”

The video also shows examples of the cramped, barren cages that big cats are confined to when they’re not performing, where they’re forced to eat, drink, sleep, urinate, and defecate all in the same place—as well as behind-the-scenes footage of handlers whipping and beating big cats and forcing them to perform meaningless tricks.

Affleck joins a growing list of celebrities—including Olivia Munn, Jason Biggs, Edie Falco, Anjelica Huston, and many more—who have teamed up with PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”) to speak out against circuses that use and abuse animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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