PETA has turned its attention, once again, on the television series adaptation of James Patterson’s Zoo. The show is a thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks taking place across the planet against humans (shown above).
The new PETA ads (which appeared today in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journals) show a computer-generated chimpanzee handcuffed with strips of film. The ads proclaims, “Some Shows Hold More Than an Audience Captive. CBS: Use CGI to Free All Animals From ‘Zoo.'”
The campaign comes just days in advance of the second-season premiere of the CBS series, which moved forward with plans to use big cats. PETA claims that executives met with PETA and learned that “wild animals used on TV shows are torn away from their mothers, often beaten during training, and locked inside tiny cages.” Zoo is also reportedly planning to use wolves, reindeer, horses, and buffalo.
“If Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book can create entire realistic animal kingdoms with CGI, then CBS can clearly make its show without exploiting any live animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on the network to switch entirely to affordable, accessible, humane, and versatile technology—and stop using animals who are caged, whipped, and denied everything that’s natural and important to them.”
PETA applauded Disney’s decision to use CGI earlier this year.
Last season, Zoo used big cats, a bear, wolves, and two baboons, among many other animals. It also employed Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife—Martin is one of the only trainers who still uses chimpanzees, and his many violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act include locking apes in barren cages for up to 18 hours a day.
CBS dropped plans to use infamous trainer Michael Hackenberger only after PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—alerted producers that he had been caught on camera mercilessly whipping a tiger. Hackenberger has since been charged with five counts of cruelty to animals.