PETA Says Enough Monkey Business on ‘Animal Control’ Set

For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

Following the latest episode of Joel McHale’s Animal Control, which featured a sloth and a capuchin monkey, PETA sent a letter today to FOX President of Scripted Programming Michael Thorn urging the network to stop exploiting live animals and instead use the show’s platform for good by helping to curb the animal overpopulation crisis.

Below, please find a statement from PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange:

The only thing “funny” about Animal Control is that producers don’t understand the issues plaguing real animal control officers and overburdened shelters trying to combat the ever-growing homeless-animal crisis. Unlike Joel McHale, monkeys and sloths aren’t desperate to be on TV. They simply want to be left alone in nature, instead of being torn away from their mothers, confined, abusively trained, and forced in front of cameras. PETA urges the public to skip this outdated spectacle of exploitation and encourages FOX to help—not hinder—the work that animal control agencies do by promoting spaying/neutering and the adoption of animals at local shelters.

A screenshot taken from Animal Control actor Michael Rowland’s Instagram page. Studies have shown that depictions of monkeys alongside humans such as this can increase the demand to have them as “pets”—a cruel trade that the TV show even props up in this plotline.

Sloths are nocturnal and extremely shy animals who normally shun contact with humans, and studies have shown that depictions in the media of primates alongside humans can increase the demand to acquire these animals as “pets,” which can fuel unscrupulous primate dealers. Furthermore, PETA and law-enforcement investigations have documented that animals used for film and TV, including monkeys who were kept in waste-strewn enclosures, are often whipped, deprived of food during training, and housed in deplorable conditions.

PETA points out that animal shelters are overflowing, and some of them with misguided policies are warehousing dogs for months or even years and abandoning cats to die in horrible ways on the streets.

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