Alec Baldwin has joined a growing list of celebrities calling for a boycott of Ringling Bros. circus. Kesha and Ashley Judd have both asked the public to drop their support of Ringling, which paid a record $270,000 settlement in November for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Baldwin is asked for a boycott of Ringling along with other circuses that use animals in their shows.
According to Contactmusic, the actor recorded a video for PETA about animal cruelty under the big top. “Having worked with actors for many years, it’s hard to believe that anyone would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into show business. But for the elephants for Ringling Bros. and other circuses, that’s exactly what happens,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin also mentions PETA’s investigations of Ringling that took place in several states and revealed employees hitting elephants with metal bullhooks before the animals went onto the stage. Ringling spokesman Stephen Payne said in response, “The health and vitality of our animals is something we can showcase at every Ringling Bros. performance. We invite families everywhere to come and see for themselves how all the animals are thriving at ‘The Greatest Show On Earth.” Payne says PETA is using old footage and claims Ringling has improved their treatment of animals.
PETA maintains that Ringling Bros. is abusing their animals, and is asking the USDA to seize the elephants in their care. “Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin has enough big- and small-screen hits under his belt to speak with authority about the entertainment industry. So when this card-carrying PETA member reports that a show-biz act appalls him, audiences everywhere should listen. In his shocking exposé, Alec reveals what circuses’ bright lights and colorful costumes cannot hide: that elephants who are forced to perform are confined, whipped, and beaten for each show,” said the animal rights organization.
Watch Baldwin’s PSA video below!