Tell NBC to stop exploiting monkeys for entertainment
Some of you may have seen promotions for a new NBC fall premiere called Animal Practice, which features Crystal, an 18-year-old capuchin monkey “actor.” Crystal has been in numerous productions in her lifetime, including the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and more recently Hangover II, The Zookeeper, and We Bought a Zoo.
Monkeys used for entertainment are taken from their mothers when they are young, and when they become too old or too big to handle are often discarded at shoddy roadside zoos or pseudo “sanctuaries.” They are highly social beings, who like humans are afflicted by loneliness, boredom, and depression. Life in the entertainment industry completely disregards the need that they have for adequate exercise, natural nourishing diets, and valuable interaction with other monkeys. Though the show doesn’t premiere until fall, NBC is launching a special episode right after the Olympic closing ceremonies on August 12. Don’t watch it!
Please spread the word to your friends and encourage them to boycott this show with you. Let them know that monkeys should not be used in TV and film media, including the reasons listed above. Write to NBC to let them know how you feel, and post on the Animal Practice Facebook page, too. Post on Twitter that you won’t be watching this show and be sure to include the hashtag #AnimalPractice. Ask your friends to share and re-tweet!
Most importantly, email the Chairman if NBC, Bob Greenblatt, to tell him how you feel:
Sample email (re-write in your own words for greater impact):
I am seriously disappointed in NBC’s decision to premise a show on a capuchin monkey. You should know that Crystal and other monkeys used in entertainment are denied the proper socialization, nutrition, and exercise they need. They are taken from their mothers and discarded at shoddy roadside zoos when they are no longer needed. Have you considered Crystal’s future well-being? In addition, forcing monkeys to wear clothes and “smile” showing all their teeth is not natural and certainly not funny! Monkeys show all their teeth when they are frightened, which indicates that they’ve likely been abused during training. You are exploiting Crystal for your own profits and this is unacceptable business practice. I won’t be watching your show, and I will tell all my friends not to either.
Ask Harvard to Release its Endangered Cotton-top Tamarins to Sanctuaries
Ask interim director of Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center R. Paul Johnson, M.D., to release the institution’s nearly 170 cotton-top tamarins to sanctuaries or wildlife refuges. We have provided text for you, but if you decide to write your own message, please be polite and encouraging.
R. Paul Johnson
New England Regional Primate Research Center
P.O. Box 9102
1 Pine Hill Drive
Southborough, MA 01772-9102
phone (508) 624-8148
fax (508) 624-8172
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Please immediately announce a plan to release Harvard’s cotton-top tamarins to sanctuaries or wildlife refuges. Cotton-top tamarins are one of the most endangered primate species, with an estimated 6,000 left in the wild today. Since 2010, two cotton-top tamarins have died at NEPRC due to gross negligence. In captivity, cotton-top tamarins develop stress-induced conditions that can be reversed in more suitable habitats provided by sanctuaries and wildlife refuges.
I am writing to ask that you set a date for the release of Harvard’s cotton-top tamarin population to sanctuaries or wildlife refuges. Cotton-Top tamarins are critically endangered and don’t fare well in captivity, particularly when they aren’t properly taken care of. The New England Primate Research Center’s past tamarin experiments have been needless. Please announce a plan immediately for retiring these animals and make every effort to send them to sanctuaries or wildlife refuges by the end of 2012.