Apes in Entertainment
- Chimpanzee and orangutan “actors” are babies. They are usually taken from their mothers at birth, which causes irreparable psychological harm.
- The cozy relationship that apes appear to have with their trainers is very deceptive. Training methods are based in fear and physical and psychological domination.
- Trainers have been reported to physically abuse apes using fists, hammers, lead pipes, broom handles, and even shock devices.
- The “grin” so often displayed by chimpanzees in entertainment is a facial expression that often indicates fear.
- Living conditions at training compounds are often deplorable, including dark, small cages with few or no enrichment objects for mental stimulation, and sometimes solitary confinement.
- The American Humane Association’s “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” seal doesn’t cover pre-production training, during which time there is the greatest potential for abuse.
- Because chimpanzees are commonly used in entertainment, people mistakenly believe that they’re not endangered in the wild. This misconception seriously impacts conservation efforts.
- By portraying apes as cute and childlike animals, viewers are led to believe that they make good “pets,” which couldn’t be further from the truth.
- Apes “actors” are typically retired from entertainment at 7 or 8 years of age, after which they are often dumped at roadside zoos or other substandard facilities.
- Ex-entertainment apes that find sanctuary often have a hard time integrating into a social group. Not only do they suffer from psychological damage, but they typically have more human-oriented identities.
- Spread the word and educate others! Avoid media that exploits entertainment apes. Boycott movies that and TV shows that use them. Don’t patronize businesses or use products that exploit apes in commercials. Don’t buy greeting cards with nonhuman primates. Finally, speak up for apes in entertainment by writing letters to producers and companies.
- Captive apes are exploited for entertainment in other countries around the world, not just the U.S. Remember to always politely spread the word on social media that apes should not be used in commercials, television shows, movies, or publicity stunts. If you see an ape used in foreign media, please contact international advocacy organizations which work on apes in entertainment globally, such as Humane Society International or PETA Asia.
Click below for more on these topics:
Position Statement on Performing Primates from the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance
Role of the American Humane Association in films that use animals
Greeting Cards with images of chimpanzees
Should non-human apes be wearing clothing? Visit this page and learn the difference between apes in sanctuaries in comparison to apes in entertainment seen wearing clothing.