14 | Friends of Animals Winter 2014 | 15

FEATURE BY EDITA BIRNKRANT • ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARCUS PIERNO
Hollywood’s insistence on using animals as
“actors” has serious long-term impact for their
welfare by subjecting them to conditions that
humans would never tolerate. When will movie-
makers fnally get the message?
ANIMALS IN
ENTERTAINMENT
HOLLYWOOD’S BETRAYAL OF GREAT APES
16 | Friends of Animals Winter 2014 | 17
T
he new Martin Scorsese
flm, The Wolf of Wall Street,
starring Leonardo DiCaprio,
features a young chimpanzee
dressed in a suit roller-skating
through an ofce and treated as
a pet of DiCaprio’s character, a
law-breaking stockbroker.
In real life, DiCaprio runs a
foundation dedicated to “protecting
Earth’s last wild places and fostering
a harmonious relationship between
humanity and the natural world,”
and surely Scorsese is aware of CGI
(Computer Generated Imagery) used
to create animals in flms. Both of
these powerful Hollywood stars
should know better, yet have enabled
and supported the hideous industry
that pimps out great apes and other
wild animals for use in flm as ani-
mal “actors.”
The Primarily Primates
sanctuary in Texas, which Friends
of Animals manages and operates,
cares for many chimpanzees used in
entertainment who were discarded
once they got too old to control.
THE LONG TERM DAMAGE THAT IS DONE
RESULTS IN NEGATIVE AND NEUROTIC
BEHAVIORS AND AN INABILITY TO SOCIALLY
INTERACT WITH OTHER CHIMPS.
Stephen Tello, the sanctuary’s
executive director, says, “Every
young chimp you see in any type
of entertainment was pulled
from their mothers prematurely.
Sometimes chimps stay with their
families their entire lives.”
In 1986 fve chimpanzee stars
of the popular flm Project X, were
brought to Primarily Primates after
a lawsuit against the flm’s producers
alleged abuse and mistreatment of
the chimps by their trainers. Bob
Barker, who led the crusade, also
blasted the American Humane
Association, which defended the
trainers, denied the abuse, and
outrageously gave their “No Animals
Were Harmed” seal of approval for
the flm. Two of the chimps, Willie,
the star of the flm, and Okko, are
still alive and cared for 27 years later
at the sanctuary.
Stephen explains, “When
they’re training the chimps, the only
contact they want is chimp to trainer,
keeping the young chimps apart.
The long term damage that is done
results in negative and neurotic
behaviors and an inability to socially
interact with other chimps.” Willie,
star of the Project X flm, still runs
away in fear when he sees cameras.
Another chimp, Harry, exhibited
neurotic behaviors like rocking
and clutching.
Stephen recalls revealing
conversations he had with the
chimp trainer from Project X who
detailed physical force he regu-
larly used to handle and train the
chimps through fear, domination
and repetitive hand signals chimps
were forced to respond to, dictating
behaviors or movements.
CHANCE THE CHIMPANZEE
Pam Rosaire, of the notorious
Rosaire family of animal circus
trainers, owns and trains Chance,
the chimp in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Pam boasts of a living made teach-
ing dangerous “trick-riding” stunts
to chimps on horseback in circus
shows, using them in commercials,
flms and events, and even claims to
have breast-fed a newborn chimp in
1979. Pam currently owns six chim-
panzees — once they turn 8 years
old, they can no longer be used in
show business, so young ones must
be continually acquired.
I spoke at length with Pam
via telephone.
Chance is a third-generation
captive-born chimp, taken from
his mother at infancy.
Now 4 years old, Chance was
7 months old when Pam purchased
him from a couple who bought
him from a breeder in Missouri
for $65,000 but soon decided they
could not keep him. Missouri allows
breeding and selling of chimps.
Pam started making money of
of Chance immediately by taking
him to agencies and booking him
for commercials, events, and now,
a Hollywood flm.
Pam told me it took her three
weeks to teach Chance to roller
skate — something required of his
role in the flm. “He’s very trained
and does what he’s told and does
it right.” Pam says, “I’ve raised all
my chimps from little babies. I’ve
been working with chimps since I’m
7-years-old.”
TURNING A CHIMPANZEE
INTO AN “ACTOR”
Pam elaborated on how she gets
rambunctious young chimps to “do
what they’re told.”
“I’m the matriarch and they do
what I tell them to do. I make them
listen. They’re very childlike. If they
1. BOYCOTT FILMS THAT USE ANIMALS
We can put breeders and trainers
out of business. We must communicate
to Hollywood that we’re not buying what
they’re selling if it includes animal abuse.
2. CONTACT THE AMERICAN
HUMANE ASSOCIATION
Tell them that “no animals were harmed”
should include the care and treatment
of animals off-set. Phone: 818-501-0123,
E-mail: flmunit@americanhumane.org
3. CONTACT THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD
Tell them that “no animals were harmed”
should include the care and treatment
of animals off-set.
Toll free: 855-SAG-AFTRA /855-724-2387
4. SUPPORT FILMS THAT USE CGI IN
PLACE OF ANIMALS
TAKE ACTION
don’t listen, I make them sit down
and do a time out. That’s the worst
thing for a chimp, to force him to sit
still in a chair alone until he listens.
Chimps are very fdgety, so sitting
still in a chair is something they
don’t like.” Pam said it only took
about one hour on the set to flm
Chance’s scenes with DiCaprio.
Bob Ingersoll, a primatologist
who appears in the documentary
Project Nim, was disgusted that a real
chimp was used in the flm and said
that with current computer graphics
technology, “No animals need to be
exploited in flms, ever again.” Bob
explains Pam’s method of training.
“What she’s doing is withholding
afection and reassurance, some-
18 | Friends of Animals Winter 2014 | 19
thing you’d never do to an infant.
It’s wrong and creates long term
psychological damage. Chimps don’t
naturally withhold afection and
reassurance like that long term; they
have a tif and get over it quickly.
That’s how she trains him —
withholding the emotion and afection.”
NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED?
The American Humane As-
sociation verifed that their safety
representatives were on the set of
The Wolf of Wall Street and that “all
animals were treated humanely.”
What does that really mean? Essen-
tially, their disclaimer is a sham,
and most people are unaware that
AHA is funded by the Screen Actors
Guild — a glaring confict of inter-
est. AHA’s fimsy basis for judging
the treatment of animals on flms
only entails the actual flming that
happens in front of them, not the
lengthy training, housing or living
conditions of animals, nor do they
have an opinion on infant chimps
being taken from their mothers
prematurely.
The only way to truly ensure
that “no animals are harmed” is to
end the misery of using them in
flms, television or commercials —
something easily achievable with
WE’RE RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT
FUR BY REACHING 2 MILLION PEOPLE
EACH DAY IN TIMES SQUARE!
This fall, Friends of Animals
ran 2 billboards in Times
Square for two months.
available technology. The public
must use their power to boycott
flms that use great apes and other
animals, and in this way, we can
put breeders and trainers out of
business. We must communicate
to Hollywood that we’re not buying
what they’re selling if it includes
animal abuse.
Animals
Need
Primarily
Primates
Since our founding three decades ago, San
Antonio’s Primarily Primates has provided
animals a way out of institutionalized lives
and deaths.
Today, Primarily Primates has a renovated
infrastructure, beautifully expanded living
and sleeping spaces for primates and birds,
and on-site veterinary care. We are devoted
to assuring the most comfortable and stimu-
lating environments for our 400 animals and
birds. Here at Primarily Primates, close to 60
chimpanzees have a space where their dignity
matters. So do members of 32 species of other
primates, including squir-
rel monkeys, spider mon-
keys, capuchins, langurs,
lemurs, macaques, mar-
mosets, tamarins, ba-
boons — and gibbons too!
Without private sanctu-
aries to offer security
for animals formerly
owned as pets, as
unwilling actors, or testing specimens, they
remain trapped for life. While we work, through
our advocacy, for the day that ownership is a thing
of the past, please invest in Primarily Primates,
and ensure the safety and care for those who
need you now.
Yes! I want to help.
Enclosed is my donation of $____________
Check or money order payable to Primarily Primates enclosed
Charge my MasterCard Visa
ACCOUNT NUMBER EXP. DATE
SIGNATURE
NAME
ADDRESS
CITY / STATE / ZI P AL
Primarily Primates, Inc.
P.O. Box 207 • San Antonio, TX 78291-0207
Phone: 830-755-4616
Online donations: www.primarilyprimates.org
One Lemur at Primarily Primates: Photo by Jane Seymour
Neytiri, a Spider monkey at Primarily Primates:
Photo by Jane Seymour
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to cre a te a d ive rse a n d via b le a ge n d a fo r p o sitive ch a n ge .
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