‘Anchorman 2’ in ‘hot water’ for SeaWorld scenes
PRESS RELEASE: Leading entertainment animal campaign organization, Animal Defenders International (ADI), has condemned Director Adam McKay for featuring abused Seaworld dolphins in upcoming movie Anchorman 2.
The Paramount Pictures film, due for release in the US and UK on December 18, stars Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate and uses dolphins kept at Seaworld to perform unnatural tricks.
ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, “Anchorman 2 is set in the 1970s when few people were aware of the cruelty involved in keeping wild animals captive and forcing them to perform. Sometimes hunted from the wild, these animals are forced to endure a life of misery, including cruel training and lifelong confinement. With so many people now aware of the cruelty of marine parks, there is no excuse for subjecting animals to a life of misery for film or entertainment. We call on Paramount Pictures to adopt a policy not to use wild animals in future films.”
In Anchorman 2, two dolphins are seen ‘tail-walking’, an unnatural behaviour in which the dolphins stand their bodies vertically and ‘walk’ through the water using their tails, known as flukes.
Zoos and dolphinaria around the world often acquire dolphins and other animals through controversial ‘drive hunts’ such as the infamous hunt at Taiji (1). A recent application to take beluga whales from Russia for Seaworld was denied by the US Federal fisheries agency, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the reasons being the adverse effects of capture on these wild belugas (2).
Dolphins are intelligent and complex animals that suffer greatly when denied freedom and subjected to environmental deprivation. ADI’s evidence clearly shows that the use of wild animals such as this in captivity causes psychological suffering and extreme physical and mental effects (3). ADI has also gathered extensive evidence of the animal suffering and abuse caused when training captive animals to perform tricks (4).
Seaworld has been racked by controversy for many years, having a number of human and animal deaths at its group of aquarium amusement parks. The company is known to hunt and capture wild animals for exhibition, split up family groups and lie about its cruel practices. The company is facing renewed and severe criticism following the release of Blackfish, a film following the tragic story of one Seaworld orca, Tilikum (Tilly). Tilly has faced a lifetime of abuse – snatched from the wild, separated from his family, kept captive in a tiny pool, bullied by his companions, used to breed from and forced to perform. Tilly has been involved in the deaths of several people, and experts including ADI have called for his release, as the whale continues to demonstrate the suffering and frustration caused by the severely deprived environment at Seaworld (5).
ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, “Anyone who loves animals should avoid Anchorman 2 and other films with performing animals, especially wild animals like dolphins. The suffering of these intelligent and emotionally complex animals is receiving universal condemnation around the world from veterinarians, dolphin experts, zoo industry insiders, the public and celebrities – and for very good reason. The use of wild animals in film and other forms of entertainment is extremely controversial and studios must move towards CGI and other ways to avoid animals being harmed behind-the-scenes whilst training takes place.” The abuse of animals for the entertainment industry is becoming more widely known by the public.
The Hollywood Reporter recently released a comprehensive report into animals used in film, ‘Animals Were Harmed’, detailing a catalogue of animal suffering and death on American Humane Association monitored films (6).
1. Information on ‘drive hunts’ http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3145&ssi=12
2. Request denied to import beluga whales into the USA, August 2013 http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3257&ssi=12
3. ADI whales and dolphins in captivity http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3166&ssi=12
4. ADI animals in entertainment http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/
5. ADI condemns Sea World’s use of wild whales and marine mammals, Feb 2010 http://www.ad-international.org/conservation/go.php?id=1790&ssi=0
6. The Hollywood Reporter “Animals were harmed”, November 2013 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/feature