TV Ad Blasting Captivity as ‘Slavery’ Debuts in Baltimore as UniverSoul Comes to Town

PETA Spot by Actor Robbyne Kaamil to Air During Elephant-Abusing Circus' Stint

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Baltimore – As UniverSoul Circus arrives in Baltimore, TV viewers will get a hard-hitting message from actor and author Robbyne Kaamil, who wrote and narrated a new PETA ad that will debut tomorrow on WMAR-TV (ABC) and Bounce TV. “My great-great-grandmother was a slave on a North Carolina plantation,” Kaamil says in the ad. “Slavery was a horrible, ugly, and brutal system. … Unfortunately, slavery is still a reality for some.”

Kaamil, whose likeness appears in the animated ad, goes on to explain how elephants are stolen from their families and sold to businesses that chain, beat, and exhibit them for profit—businesses like UniverSoul Circus.

“When you buy a ticket,” concludes Kaamil, “you are an active participant in this modern-day slave trade. … [L]et us all stand up and fight for the freedom of animals in captivity. Let’s end slavery everywhere, anywhere, in all its forms, for all living beings.”

UniverSoul’s elephant exhibitor is currently facing charges after he was allegedly caught inserting a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—into an elephant’s mouth earlier this year. Many cities, including Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, have passed bans that prohibit the use of bullhooks because of the pain they inflict on elephants.

Kaamil joins PETA in calling on UniverSoul to follow Ringling Bros.’ lead and end the inhumane use of elephants in its performances.

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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