PETA Slams ‘Bad Monkey’ for Animal Exploitation

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

Below, please find a statement from primatologist and PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler in response to Apple TV+’s new series Bad Monkey, which used a real monkey despite receiving warnings from PETA about the tragic lives of primates used for film and TV:

The real mystery of Bad Monkey is why showrunner Bill Lawrence decided to brazenly ignore PETA’s warnings that dragging real monkeys onto a set hinders conservation efforts and fuels an industry that snatches them away from their mothers, in addition to condemning them to lives of deprivation, misery, and pain. PETA is calling on audiences to skip this sad spectacle and for Lawrence to solve the case of his missing moral compass by choosing cutting-edge CGI or other humane technology.

PETA notes that most primates used for film are taken away from their mothers prematurely, a practice that denies the infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. Their instinctual needs are completely thwarted, and as a result, they often develop neurotic behavior patterns, such as pacing, rocking, swaying, cage-biting, and self-mutilation. Many suffer from debilitating loneliness and depression, as their complex physical and psychological needs cannot be met at training compounds or on movie sets.

Furthermore, PETA and law-enforcement investigations into animal suppliers for the film and television industries have documented that animals are often whipped, deprived of food during training, and housed in deplorable conditions. At one prominent supplier, monkeys were kept in waste-strewn enclosures that went uncleaned for four days, according to a worker. As wild animals mature and become useless to trainers, many are discarded at seedy roadside zoos or other substandard facilities, where they may suffer for years without proper food or veterinary care.

PETA urges anyone who sees animals being used for film or television productions to report it at or call the whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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