‘Pirates’ Bid to Ship Monkeys to Australia Comes Under Fire from PETA

Production of Previous Installment of Pirates of the Caribbean Responsible for Deaths of Sea Animals

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2015

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

PETA sent an urgent letter this morning to Jerry Bruckheimer calling on him to cancel any plans to ship two capuchin monkeys to Australia for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth movie in the franchise. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is  also challenging Bruckheimer to follow the lead of movies like Noah and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes by using computer-generated imagery instead of live animals in the film, pointing out that more than 100 marine animals died during the production of the last Pirates movie.

“Monkeys suffer immensely when they’re used in film and television, from being taken away from their mothers shortly after birth to enduring harsh training methods,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the Pirates of the Caribbean to stick to the talented human actors and impressive digital effects it’s already known for and leave the animals out of human entertainment.”

PETA also notes that on-set observation by the American Humane Association is notoriously inadequate, as revealed in a recent Hollywood Reporter exposé.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Jerry Bruckheimer follows.

February 23, 2015

To:       Jerry Bruckheimer, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
From:   Julia Gallucci, PETA

Dear Mr. Bruckheimer,

Greetings from PETA’s Animals in Film and Television Division. I’m writing today after learning that you apparently have plans to ship two capuchin monkeys to Australia for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. As you may recall, over 100 animal deaths occurred during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, so we’re hoping that you’ll read the information below and consider meeting with us before you embark on a shoot with monkeys or other wild animals—and then choose to use computer-generated imagery instead.

Monkeys are intelligent, curious, and highly social animals with complex physical and psychological needs that cannot be met in training compounds or human homes. Most monkeys used for entertainment are sold as infants by animal breeders and dealers who remove the babies from their mothers prematurely—a practice that is cruel to both the baby and the mother and denies the infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. In order to suppress natural behavior and ensure total control over these animals—who are highly dangerous and must be forced to perform on cue—trainers typically use abusive training techniques.

Many people assume that the American Humane Association (AHA) prevents the abuse of animals used in entertainment. But The Hollywood Reporter‘s investigation into the AHA revealed what PETA has been helping to bring to light for years—that the AHA’s monitoring of film and television productions is woefully inadequate. As a result, animals have often been put in dangerous situations, injured, or killed, as during the production of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The AHA does not monitor preproduction training, the living conditions of animals, or the disposal of animals when they’re no longer useful to trainers.

May we please hear from you regarding this important matter? Thank you for your time and attention.

Best regards,

Julia Gallucci, M.S.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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