PETA Calls for Criminal Probe Into ‘Jackass Forever’ for Cruelty to Animals

For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2021

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – PETA believes that the production of Jackass Forever broke state animal protection laws and, in a letter sent this morning to city and county prosecutors, is calling for an investigation and, if warranted, criminal charges against all those responsible.

PETA’s attention has been drawn to the production of the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie, filmed in Los Angeles County, the trailer for which shows Johnny Knoxville being charged by a bull, Sean McInerney being bitten on the nose by a snake, and a tarantula trapped in a plastic tube between Ehren McGhehey and Compston Wilson’s heads. PETA notes that these activities appear to violate California’s prohibitions on bullfighting and similar exhibitions, causing any animal to fight with a human, and cruelty to animals—and that other acts of cruelty may well have been committed on set without making it into the trailer or the film’s final cut.

“Tormenting real animals for stupid stunts normalizes cruelty, encourages others—including minors—to harm animals, and violates California law,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “PETA is asking the authorities to hold Jackass Forever accountable for any violations and reminds the film industry that animal abuse cannot be tolerated.”

PETA notes that when bulls charge or attack, it’s often a result of having been taunted, while snakes are naturally reclusive and typically retreat from humans unless provoked. Tarantulas are sensitive to vibrations, which they use to detect danger, a trait that makes loud sounds and foreign environments especially stressful for them.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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