PETA putting monkeys out of business

Chimp-actors may soon be protesting PETA after the animal rights organization recently launched a campaign that may put them out of work. PETA is urging TV and movie viewers to look away when those adorable primates pitch products. The animal rights group says on its site, “in doing so, they are also promoting a cruel industry that rips baby animals away from their mothers and trains them to perform, using tactics such as electric shocks and beatings with steel bars wrapped in electrical tape. Chimpanzees and orangutans who are too old to perform are not given sanctuary, as the industry would like consumers to believe, but are sold to biomedical research facilities or to tawdry roadside attractions—ensuring continued suffering.” The organization urges consumers to write to companies like Capitol One and E*Trade that have used primates in their ads. The site shows several of the ads, most of them years old, and includes a heartfelt endorsement from Jane Goodall. But one commercial that is noticeably absent from that hit list is a spot for HBO that starred Goodall and her famous chimps. The ad, which was titled "Chimps" and won the first Emmy awarded to a commercial in 1997, was set in a remote jungle setting and features chimps quoting famous movie lines, using the original movie audio. One quotes Marlon Brando in The Godfather. Another repeats Forrest Gump’s “mama says stupid is as stupid does.” Even Star Wars and Animal House references make it into the spot. Then it cuts to Goodall, who is looking at the chimps through her binoculars from her cabin as she narrates her diary entry in the voiceover. “Their inexplicable behavior continues.” HBO is playing on her TV set behind her, as she leaves her diary to go watch Braveheart. The spot ended with “Dr. Jane Goodall. HBO viewer since 1978.” At the time, she told newspapers that the commercial brought desperately needed funds to her research center and that trained chimps were not used. But who would know that from watching the commercial? Seemed like a pretty good endorsement for apes in entertainment to AdFreak.

—Posted by Eleftheria Parpis