calgary stampede rodeo
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes, Film/TV
Tags: .
Photo: Flickr/Calgary Reviews

On Tuesday, we wondered if Bob Barker was going to speak out against “The Price is Right” for offering a trip to the Calgary Stampede as a prize on the show. The answer is a definite yes. And we’ve got an exclusive interview with the former host about his feelings on the “The Price is Right,” their recent history of supporting animal cruelty, and what he thinks the winner of the prize should do instead of visiting the rodeo.

In a phone interview Barker told us, “Well, I’m shocked and very disappointed. When I did the show we did absolutely nothing that in any way would be harmful to animals. To have them do this is very disappointing to me. I can’t understand what they’re thinking of because they’re going get all kinds of bad publicity out of this.”

During his tenure as host, the longtime vegetarian wouldn’t allow fur to be given out as prizes, or even cars with leather seats. Needless to say, a trip to the rodeo would never have happened while he was there. But, this isn’t the show’s first offense when it comes to animals. A few weeks ago they gave away a trip to SeaWorld. Barker did a PSA with PETA in 2011 telling people specifically never to go to SeaWorld due to animal welfare issues.

Barker tells us he called up three executives at “The Price is Right” after they gave out the trip to the marine park, but no one returned his call. He said about the snub, “They didn’t want to discuss it apparently.”

When I asked him what he would say to the person who won the trip to the Calgary Stampede, he gave a hearty laugh and said, “I understand it’s worth $25,000 plus. I’d ask them first if they could get the cash. And of course, they couldn’t. So I suppose I would suggest that they go on and go up to Canada and have the room and board paid and enjoy Canada but stay away from that Calgary Stampede.”

So, to Lori, the winner of the Calgary trip. That’s straight from Bob Barker’s mouth. Head up to Canada, but definitely skip the show. Why you ask?

Barker explains that at rodeos, “They injure animals on a regular basis and kill them occasionally. It’s a rodeo and you know rodeos are notorious for animal cruelty. They shock animals and mistreat animals, jab them with pitchforks and so on to make them buck or run and they break the necks of calves. Calf roping is probably the worst thing of all. And people go to see it. Some people.”

I asked him what he would recommend fans of the show who love animals do to let the executives know they don’t want these kinds of prizes offered. He said, “I’d sit down and write at least a half dozen letters and say that I will never turn it on again if they continue to do this sort of thing.”

As for Drew Carey and whether or not he has any control over the prizes, Barker said, “Incidentally, when I was there, I was the executive producer and host and everyone knew that I wanted animals protected and they would never have brought me a thing like this. But, Drew, I don’t know what his position is. I know he’s host, but whether he could say, look, I don’t want to do this or not, I don’t know. I do know that the first time I met him…the first thing he said to me was, ‘Bob, I will do the spay/neuter plug that you have started…as long as I’m the host of the show’ and I thanked him profusely and he’s done that too.”

According to the Calgary Stampede website, if Lori does attend, she’ll see the following events: Bareback, Bull Riding, Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling and Tie-Down Roping. Then additional events like Novice Bareback, Novice Saddle Bronc, Junior Steer Riding and Wild Pony Racing for kids.

We hope “The Price is Right” hears Bob Barker loud and clear and stops offering prizes that exhibit such harsh cruelty to animals. We know one thing. If they don’t, Barker will very publicly say when he thinks they are in the wrong. He’s the kind of man who stands up and says what he knows to be true, that animal cruelty should never be viewed as entertainment.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is a writer, teacher and activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Ali is also a fiction writer. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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