Video: ‘Yellowstone’ Crew Member Breaks Silence on Animal Corpse Scenes

Gruesome Whistleblower Report Prompts PETA to Launch New Portal for Crew Members to Report Concerns Ahead of the Show's Second Season

For Immediate Release:
June 12, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Just in time for the season-two premiere of Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone, PETA has released an exclusive video interview with the whistleblower who reported disturbing incidents on set and has launched a new portal to make it easier for witnesses of animal abuse and neglect in the entertainment industry to come forward.

According to the crew member, during filming in Utah, real decomposing cows’ bodies were used and one appeared to have been mutilated for the big-budget Western. Speaking on camera for the first time, the whistleblower says, “[A]s crew members, we’re wondering, ‘Why the hell is this not a prop?’ …. We’re not going to work to expose ourselves to potential biohazards … [a]nd it carves something on your mind that you can never delete.”

The crew member goes on to describe the “psychological torture” of being surrounded by the stench of rotting corpses and how “heartbreaking” it was to see the producers’ lack of respect for animals and says that concerns about the dead cows prompted a ban on cell phones and cameras on set during the filming of potentially dangerous rodeo scenes. The whistleblower—who later found realistic cow props at another production location—ends with an urgent plea to fellow crew members: “Anyone else in this industry like myself who witnesses abuse, dead animals, or neglect, and/or any stomach-turning, heartless act that they see concerning animals, they need to speak up immediately.”

PETA’s industry-specific portal—where cast and crew members can confidentially submit evidence of cruelty to animals—can be found here.

“Because Yellowstone producers deliberately chose to use the bodies of real cows instead of accessible alternatives—and have failed to explain how a cow ended up mutilated or commit to using only props in the future—PETA is encouraging kind people to tune out for season two,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “No animal, dead or alive, deserves to be exploited for entertainment, and we hope this new video and whistleblower portal will inspire others who witness such exploitation to come forward.”

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

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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