It’s About Time: Universal Studios to Stop Using Orangutan Actors

The Hollywood and Orlando theme parks promise to ban the use of primates in their live shows.
(Photo: Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters)
Apr 1, 2014· 0 MIN READ
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

An entertainment giant is finally getting out of the monkey business.

Last week, animal rights activists successfully persuaded NBCUniversal to ban all primates from Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando. The theme parks were the last U.S. exhibitors to showcase endangered orangutans onstage, according to PETA.

The decision is part of a string of recent wins for animals used in the entertainment industry. Several top advertising agencies and companies, such as Volkswagen and Burger King, have stopped using apes in their ads.

And director Darren Aronofsky’s blockbuster Noah, released last week, relied exclusively on CGI for the portrayal of biblical critters, featuring no live animals onscreen. Having worked with primates on set in the past, Aronofsky said he was “pretty alarmed with the condition that they were being kept in. There’s really no reason to do it anymore because the technology has arrived.”

Animal lovers everywhere, and probably the shaggy primates themselves, are relieved by NBCUniversal’s decision. “Savvy and kind entertainers realize that the right decision—for animals and for business—is to shun exploitation of these sensitive, intelligent animals,” PETA’s Delcianna Winders said in a statement.