For Immediate Release:
February 9, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Kansas City, Mo. – Showing some love for our fellow primates ahead of Valentine’s Day, War for the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Judy Greer sent a letter today on PETA’s behalf to Hallmark CEO Mike Perry urging him to have a heart and stop selling cards that feature images of exploited chimpanzees. Greer points out that such images—in which the apes are typically displaying what Dr. Jane Goodall has termed a “fear grimace, ” misinterpreted by humans as a grin—hinder conservation efforts by misleading people into believing that the species, which may face extinction during our lifetime, is thriving. They also fuel the black market demand for great apes as “pets.”
“As someone who cares deeply about animals, I was saddened to learn that these photos are contributing to driving chimpanzees toward extinction,” writes Greer, whose other screen credits include Reboot, Archer, and Arrested Development. “Studies have shown that frivolous staged images of these animals wearing costumes, displayed in studios, or interacting with humans actually mislead consumers into believing that chimpanzees are plentiful, rather than on the verge of extinction.”
American Greetings, the world’s second-largest greeting card company, has stopped selling cards that feature demeaning images of chimpanzees; Rite Aid and CVS are among the retailers that are removing these inappropriate cards from their shelves; and many top stock-image agencies—such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime—are banning the commercial use of images of primates in human costumes and poses. More than 65,000 supporters have joined PETA in pushing locally based Hallmark to ban these cards.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.