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PCWS - Current Action Items

PCWS is currently involved with the following cases. Please help us in these campaigns by voicing your concerns to the relevant parties. We would be extremely grateful if you could send us copies of any replies you might receive for our files.

  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back -- View Askew Productions & Miramax
    [ Added 27 September 2001 ]

    In this film Jay and Silent Bob (of Dogma fame) head off to Hollywood, and stop a film that they believe is being made about them. Unfortunately, the films within this film include the use of Tango Orangutan and Ellie and Jonah Chimpanzees. Yet again Birds and Animals Unlimited has been cited as the supplier of animals for this motion picture. And yet again, Tango, Ellie, and Jonah have appeared in a feature film. As was the case with Planet of the Apes (see below), PCWS believes that these primates are owned by Robert Dunn and were hired for this film.

    To read the PCWS Fact Sheet regarding Robert Dunn, click here.

    Excerpts from the AHA Website regarding this film

    Suzanne was played by a female Orangutan named Tango, who bonded with Kevin Smith, the actor/director playing Silent Bob. She loved to kiss him and to be carried over his shoulder - Tango’s favorite way to be held.....Orangutans love sweets and one of Tango’s favorites is gummy bears, although the banana split seemed to be an acceptable substitute.

    There are two chimps that appear to be dissecting the brain of a human and eating it. The two chimps that were dissecting the human’s brain and tasting it are named Ellie and Jonah. The brain was made up of methylcellulose, which is a food additive that is added to jelly donuts to make them gel! The two chimps tasted the fake brain and didn’t like it, so the trainer poured honey over the brain right before filming and the chimps loved it!


    Please write to Kevin Smith, Director of this film, at the following address:

    View Askew Productions
    69B Broad Street
    Red Bank, NJ 07701


  • Primates in Various Music Videos
    [ Added 27 September 2001 ]

    Several music groups, including Alien Ant Farm, Weezer, and Smashmouth, have included chimpanzees in recent music videos. The following is a list of the bands, as well as their contact details. Please write to these groups and express your concern. PCWS has found musicians to be incredibly supportive of our efforts on behalf of primates, so please consider sending polite letters and request that they work with us to end the cruel use of primates in "entertainment".

    Weezer

    The Weezer video, which features at least one young chimpanzee, as well as a bear and other wildlife, was directed by Spike Jonze. Mr. Jonze also directed the feature film Being John Malkovich, which had a scene with an infant chimpanzee.

    Weezer
    9311 S.E. Foster Road #666
    Portland, OR 97266-4646

    Smashmouth

    Smashmouth has a website which is full of contact details. You can e-mail each of the band members at this site. In addition, please consider sending a letter to Smashmouth Personal Manager Robert Hayes, at the address below.

    Robert Hayes
    Smashmouth Personal Manager
    Sound Management, Inc.
    1525 South Winchester Boulevard
    San Jose, CA 95128

    Alien Ant Farm

    Alien Ant Farm
    P.O. Box 55664
    Riverside, CA 92507

  • The Andy Dick Show - MTV
    [ Added 27 September 2001 ]

    Recently, a baby chimpanzee was featured on The Andy Dick Show, a half-hour comedy show on MTV (Music Television). In the show, comedian Andy Dick plays various characters that are supposed to make us laugh. In this particular segment, he played a temperamental director of a commercial that used a chimpanzee.

    MTV
    Attn: The Andy Dick Show
    1515 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036

    [ This alert courtesy of The Great Ape Project ]

  • Planet of the Apes - Twentieth Century Fox and The Zanuck Company

    According to the Twentieth Century Fox press kit for the film, Birds and Animals Unlimited provided the animals for the film. Nerissa Politzer is listed as the Head Chimp Trainer. Birds and Animals Unlimited is located at 25191 Rivendell Drive, Lake Forest, Ca 92630. Another company, Wings Wildlife Productions, is located at the same address. Their website address is www.birdsandanimals.com -- the site is not presently active.

    According to the AHA website, at least ten infant or juvenile apes were involved in the production. There names are Kenuzi, Bella, Tango, Chubbs, Ellie, BamBam, Moglee, Sam, Geri and Maggie. Interestingly enough, these are exactly the same names listed on Robert Dunn's website with regard to his orangutans and chimpanzees. We suspect, as is often the case in the film industry, the Birds and Animals Unlimited contracted with Bob Dunn's Animal Services in order to provide the apes for this program.

    It should also be noted that if, in fact, the Tango listed on the AHA website is the same Tango used in the film, this female orangutan is the very likely the same female orangutan that was donated by Bern Levine to Robert Dunn in 1995 in order to be used in "educational exhibits". You may recall that Dunn later attempted to purchase the orangutan from Levine, although he had already transported her across state lines after receiving her as a donation. After deciding that Dunn would be issued a permit to keep Tango, APHIS informed Dunn that he must provide an Annual Report for five years, indicating what educational endeavors she would be used in. Although Dunn's files are full of letters of complaint and concern from the public -- she's been used in Tang Drink ads, at a Hollywood Party for Wildlife Waystation, and as a visitor to facilities including Wildlife Waystation and Moorpark College any of which PCWS does not believe is educational -- it now seems that she has made her feature film début.

    For more information about Robert Dunn see our white paper report. Please note; this document is in .pdf format. To view photos of Dunn's primates see his website.

    To protest the use of primates in Planet of the Apes, please send polite letters to POTA Director Tim Burton and Producer Richard Zanuck:

    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
    Mr. Tim Burton
    10201 W. Pico Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
    Phone: 310-369-1000

    The Zanuck Company
    9465 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 930
    Beverly Hills, CA 90212
    Phone: 310-274-0261
    Fax: 310-273-9217

  • "The Animal" - Sony Pictures and Revolution Entertainment

    For more information please see the "The Animal" Website.

    Based upon images from the movie trailer, at least one orangutan has been used in the film. According to the production notes (see below) a chimpanzee and a monkey were also used in the film. If you have seen the film, please contact us to clarify this.

    Letters regarding "The Animal" can be sent to Mr John Calley at Sony (the parent company of Columbia Pictures, who released this film), or Mr. Joe Roth at Revolution Studios (who produced this picture):

        Mr. John Calley
        Chairman and CEO
        Sony Pictures Entertainment
        10202 West Washington Blvd.
        Culver City, CA 90232-3195

        Mr. Joe Roth, CEO
        Revolution Studios
        3000 W. Olympic Blvd.
        Bldg. 4, Suite 1314
        Santa Monica, CA 90404


    From the "production notes":

    In one scene, Rob is supposed to let a baby bird eat from his mouth. But during rehearsal, things didn't go as planned. The bird trainers hadn't fed the baby, and it was so hungry that it pecked Rob's lip, missing the grain inside his mouth and causing some nasty welts. When the scene was finally shot, the trainers fed the bird just before the cameras rolled and the bird took the food out of Rob's mouth very gently. It seemed to be more curious than hungry, and the bird's tenderness was captured on film.

    The bird scenario is an example of animal coordinator Steve Berens' philosophy that proper rehearsal time is of prime importance. He says his goal is always to make each animal comfortable on the set. "It takes a lot of prep time to get them used to everything," Berens explains. "That way, it's fair to the animals. At times, we have animals that are acting scared in scenes. We just don't go in there and scare them; they are trained to act scared. It takes time to do that."

    Production designer Alan Au says that he had to consider each animal's natural habitat when creating the bizarre barn-laboratory of the crazed Dr. Wilder. "It had to look like the animals were living together with Dr. Wilder," says Au, who had to ensure that each animal had its own space without relying on cages or corrals. Au says he had to work with animal trainers to ensure that the chimpanzee was comfortable in his temporary home on top of a shelf in the garden greenhouse area. A decision was made to add a swing to the space to allow the chimp to burn off a little steam during the long shoot. Au says he was surprised the ever-active Rob Schneider wasn't fighting the chimp for his turn on the apparatus!


  • "Most Valuable Primate II" - Keystone Entertainment

    For more information please see the "Most Valuable Primate" Website, or read the Vancouver Sun article about chimps in movies.

    Letters regarding "Most Valuable Primate" should be sent to:

        Michael Dritz, Chairman
        Keystone Entertainment, Inc.
        300 - 2339 Columbia Street
        Vancouver, BC
        Canada V5Y 3Y3

    For more information regarding Greg & Carol Lille, the trainers for "Most Valuable Primate", please visit our trainers page.


  • REM Uses Orangutan in Video

    REM, one of the nations hottest music groups, used an orangutan in a music video for its recent release, "Imitation of Life". It should be noted that lead singer Michael Stipe also produced Being John Malkovich, a film in which a young chimpanzee was part of the storyline. Please write polite letters to Mr. Stipe requesting that he refrain from using non-human primates in any form of entertainment.

        REM
        PO Box 8032
        Athens, GA 30603


  • Toyota Motor Corporation uses Chimpanzees in Commercial

    Toyota Motor Corporation has taken to using chimpanzees in commercials in order to sell its newest car, the Prius. Please write to Mr. Yoshimi Niaba, US Corporation President, at the address below, and request that Toyota no longer use non-human primates in its advertising.

        Mr. Yoshimi Niaba
        US Corporation President
        Toyota Corporation
        PO Box 2991
        Torrance, CA 90509