by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes, Film/TV
Tags: , .

Bob Barker and “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon are teaming up with PETA to change the way animals are treated on film and television sets.

The organization American Humane is in charge of ensuring the safety of animals used in entertainment. That little bit of language you see at the end of a film that says, “No animals were harmed” is only put there if American Humane has monitored and approved of the treatment of animals on set. However, PETA is claiming that the organization is neglecting its duties and giving its seal of approval on films where animals were put in danger, injured, or even killed.

In a letter to American Humane PETA wrote, “Whistleblowers allege that the AHA film ratings are not reliable. We have been told that the ratings of some films do not reflect what occurred on set, that acceptable ratings have been given when not all animal action was monitored, and that ratings were changed when the AHA feared that information about problems on the set would be leaked.

“Not all the alleged incidents resulted in death or injury, though some apparently did. What all the allegations do convey is that animals, as well as actors, have apparently been put at risk and that these risks could have been prevented.”

PETA cites “The Hobbit,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and many others as examples of inadequate oversight by the organization. For example, in “Pirates of the Caribbean” PETA claims that “explosions set by production in Wallilabou Bay resulted in the deaths of 46 fish and 51 squid over a period of four days (a screen shot of what appear to be AHA notes on this is attached). There is no explanation for why the explosions were allowed to continue once the deaths occurred, yet the film was rated “Outstanding.” The AHA ratings review is attached as the link appears to have been recently been disabled.”

Barker and Simon will hold a press conference today to ask American Humane to put animals first and make their safety the top priority.

Many viewers won’t support a film if animals are injured on set. Just look at the cancellation of the HBO show “Luck.” The racing show was canceled after the deaths of three horses. We rely on American Humane to keep animals safe on set, and if something goes wrong, to be honest about it. We hope the allegations aren’t true, but if they are, we hope that the organization changes their practices today.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • Lisa Daniel

    Horse racing injures far more horses then the movie industry!!!

  • Cui Hsiao

    PETA is known for this kinds of projects and I love helping such organization such as these. On the other hand I came to wonder if pets need the vitamin b12, and if there is a product like for pets as well. Any thoughts on this?