“Tiger King” Prompts PETA Plea to Queen Latifah

Group Urges Executive Producer and Star of The Tiger Rising to Scrap Any Scenes Filmed With a Real Tiger

For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2020

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – This morning, citing the public’s fascination with Tiger King, PETA sent an urgent letter asking Queen Latifah to remove all scenes that used a real tiger from her upcoming movie, The Tiger Rising, and to use only computer-generated imagery to portray the animal.

PETA points out that animals suffer when used for entertainment, whether by roadside zoo operators like those featured in Tiger King or by trainers for the film and TV industry. PETA and law enforcement investigations have uncovered that animals—who are typically separated from their mothers at birth—are whipped, illegally imported, and kept in deplorable conditions by animal suppliers for Hollywood.

“When it comes to tearing big-cat cubs away from their mothers and forcing them into performing, Hollywood trainers are no different from the sleazy exhibitors in Tiger King,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is asking Queen Latifah to use her influence to keep captive animals out of The Tiger Rising.”

PETA has been working for years to shut down roadside zoos like those in Tiger King, including the one formerly owned and operated by Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka “Joe Exotic”). The group rescued nearly 50 animals from Maldonado-Passage’s custody, all of whom are currently living in reputable sanctuaries, and filed two lawsuits against facilities that acquired big-cat cubs from him. PETA recently prevailed in one of these lawsuits—the court’s ruling confirms that prematurely removing tiger cubs from their mothers and using them in public encounters violates the federal Endangered Species Act. The last six tigers held at a roadside zoo called Dade City’s Wild Things arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in late March.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are disposable. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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