In an exciting win for animal rights, Universal Studios is yelling “Cut!” on the use of endangered primates in their theme parks’ “Animal Actors” performances.
The “Animal Actors” show is advertised by the theme park as “Tinseltown-trained critters putting pet tricks to shame with their animal antics,” and includes a parade of species. Removing highly intelligent and endangered primates from the line-up is a step in the right direction.
Universal Studios, with parks in Hollywood and Orlando, had been under pressure from PETA to release the primates from the exploitative gig since 2009. The parks were the last in the United States to force primates to perform on stage.
“NBCUniversal made the right call in ending the use of primates in its live shows,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel, Delcianna Winders. “Savvy and kind entertainers realize that the right decision—for animals and for business—is to shun exploitation of these sensitive, intelligent animals.”
Universal Studios’ recent decision is part of a steady stream of victories for animals often used in the entertainment industry. Several ad agencies have banned the use of apes in their campaigns, including Capital One and Volkswagen, and the film industry is catching on to the use of high-tech digital effects in place of animal actors.
For a perfect example of how digital effects trump the use of primates in films, check out PETA’s award-winning video short, “98% Human.”
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