Talk Show Hosts Should Be the Only Ones Returning to Studio—Not Wild Animals—Says PETA

Group's New Video Reveals How Animals Forced Onto TV Sets Suffer Just Like Those Featured on Tiger King

For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New York – As talk show hosts such as Kelly Clarkson, Wendy Williams, and Jimmy Kimmel return to studios post-lockdown, PETA is releasing a new video calling on them to commit to leaving cruel and harmful wild-animal segments off the air.

The video takes particular aim at exhibitor Grant Kemmerer—who has supplied animals for Williams, Jimmy Fallon, and others and was previously caught on camera smacking a young tiger in the face and fined for five violations of New York wildlife laws. While popular figures like Robert Irwin play the role of animal expert on stage, it’s typically exploiters like Kemmerer pulling the strings and keeping this seedy industry going.

“During quarantine, talk shows persevered without film crews, hair and makeup departments, or live audiences—so cutting out animal segments, no matter the supplier, should be a breeze,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “If Tiger King taught us one thing, it’s that big cats and other wild animals belong in their natural homes, not in captivity, so PETA is asking each host to step up and do their part to protect them by banning them from the stage.”

Animals used for film and television are typically separated from their mothers as babies, and some who are dragged to sets are even still nursing, like the black bear cub in PETA’s video. They’re often deprived of proper care, and PETA and law-enforcement investigations have uncovered animals being whipped, illegally imported, and kept in deplorable conditions by animal suppliers for Hollywood.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that talk shows are already moving in the right direction. After hearing from PETA, Jimmy Kimmel Live! apparently scrapped reported plans for exhibitor Dave Salmoni to appear on the show pre–COVID-19, and Jimmy Fallon and Lilly Singh hosted Robert and Bindi Irwin, respectively, without wild animals after hearing from PETA.

PETA urges anyone who witnesses the use of an animal for a film or TV show to report it by calling the group’s confidential whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233 or sending an e-mail to [email protected].

PETA opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are ours to exploit. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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