Animal Rights Group Boycotting ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

The Wolf of Wall Street

No animals were harmed in the making of this film? Friends of Animals doesn’t buy “The Wolf of Wall Street’s” end credits.

The animal rights group has organized a boycott against Martin Scorsese’s drama for the use of a chimpanzee in one of its earlier scenes. The primate, who plays Leonardo DiCaprio’s pet, roller skates through the company office in a collared shirt and slacks. Friends of Animals thinks the chimp — named Chance — suffered irreversible psychological damage after being forced to act.

According to a press release, FoA’s New York director Edita Birnkrant plans to “confront” Scorsese and DiCaprio at the flick’s NYC red carpet premiere on Tuesday. She wrote an expose on animals in entertainment and “Hollywood’s Betrayal of Great Apes” in the most recent issue of the organization’s magazine, Action Line.

Birnkrant argues that Chance, who was subject to the cruel teaching methods of his circus trainer earlier in its life, could suffer from neurotic behaviors, ultimately becoming incapable of socially interacting with other chimps, due to his appearance in the movie. The movie also features, dogs, a lion and a fish.

Danny Porush, the character Jonah Hill portrays in the film, told Mother Jones that “there was never a chimpanzee in the office.” In fact, “there were no animals in the office.” The film never explains the meaning of the animal’s role.

However, Porush did admit that the little people, who appear in the same scene, were actually frequent office party guests. But they were never thrown around in a game of “dwarf-tossing.”

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  1. Amy says:

    There are sanctuaries filled with apes who have been in the entertainment industry. The end up there because their owners can no longer handle them when they grow up. I am not a hard core animal rights activist and understand their is a difference between humans and animals. But, the simple fact is there is no reason this chimp needed to be in this film and no reason he needed to be paraded around in clothes for a human’s enjoyment. He will wind up in a sanctuary one day when his owners have no use for him at all. He’ll be better off there where he can actually be a chimp.

  2. Houston says:

    This isn’t about abuse of an animal at all. The animal rights movement is about removing all animals from human interaction no matter what the connection. These people view human beings as separate and with less rights than all other species on this planet. In fact if they could they would cause all domestic species to become extinct. And once they have done that then they will start suing ants to free aphids which are managed like cows for the benefit of the ants. These people have never heard of biology where all species depend upon another species for survival from food to parasite control. We humans are part of that biology and this movement would remove human beings from this process entirely. First they claim special status for animals and then state that humans have no right to behave as they are biologically built to do. We are not suppose to eat meat when our brains require Active VB12 found only in meat products as inactive VB12 comes from a few plants. Without this Active VB12 our brains become irrational and overly emotional which is clear from this vegan supported movement which has no basis in nature. The chimp was emotionally scarred for life! Really what idiots, first they want to give animals rights which can only be designed to work between human beings who understand those rights. Then they deny the chimp the right to enjoy skating or interacting with human beings. We already know that animals can adapt to human interaction but these people want the power to say no to both sides. In fact they want to control over animals in order to decide how they should live and how you should live without any animal contact. Many species would already be extinct if it were not for the genetic diversity maintained by those people who love and have developed the knowledge to breed exotic species. We know from island studies that leaving animals to control the environment results in over grazing, over destruction of entire species as animals are run by instinct and do not have the ability to analyze the future results of their own actions. We are the only species that has learned to moderate that destruction from bacteria, viruses, predators, and nature herself. We have the ability to plan ahead, but all other species can only respond to the moment. Thus you have wolves destroying their entire food chain without needing to eat what they kill with abandon. These people have watched too much Disney wildlife documentaries which we now know they used trained animals and stories that children could identify with, but we are no longer children and we need to know that we are dependent as a species upon all resources and we must be allowed to use them wisely and with care. That does not mean total isolation from all other species or not using them for the betterment of our species since we are the only species that can prevent them from destroying their own environments and food sources as we have learned to do for ourselves. We may not have always known this or done things that protected other species, but we learn better each year. This learning comes from having direct constant contact. The animal rights movement is a step backward that assumes animals can plan and see into the future. They cannot and have never shown the ability to do more than respond to the moment. This movement is a danger to not only all human beings but to all other species as well.

  3. anya says:

    Chimpanzees in Entertainment: The Facts

    Chimpanzee “actors” are babies. They are taken from their mothers at birth, which causes irreparable psychological harm.
    The cozy relationship that chimpanzees often appear to have with their trainers is very deceptive. Methods used to train chimpanzees are based in fear and physical and psychological domination.
    Trainers physically abuse chimpanzees using their fists, hammers, lead pipes, and even broom handles. Shock devices are also sometimes used.
    Most people don’t know that the “grin” so often displayed by chimpanzees in entertainment is actually a grimace of fear.
    Living conditions at training compounds are often deplorable, including dark, small cages, little or no enrichment, and sometimes solitary confinement.
    The American Humane Association’s “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” seal of approval doesn’t cover pre-production training, during which time there is the greatest potential for abuse.
    By giving the public the false impression that chimpanzees are not endangered in the wild, the use of chimpanzees in entertainment seriously impacts conservation efforts.
    By portraying chimpanzees as cute and childlike animals, viewers are led to believe that they make good pets, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
    Chimpanzee “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.


  4. misspissed says:

    Leonardo DiCaprio’s philanthropy foundation just donated $3 million to help save tigers, do you really think he would be involved in a film that mistreats animals. If they really want to help animals I think they have bigger things to concentrate on then a supposedly mistreated chimpanzee.

  5. bunnyboo says:

    Yeah, lets throw a hissy fit and boycott a whole movie. Confront them on the red carpet? It sounds like she is just making a grab for attention, and I’m sure Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will have intelligent and thoughtful answers to her questions.

  6. Mac says:

    Thats the thing about wasps, they love animals, hate people…

  7. DG says:

    It seems now that someone will complain about any animal being used in any film in any capacity. We have gotten PC to the point of absurdity, folks. And, I hate to say it but, SAG should’ve never gotten involved with this AHS nonsense in the first place. Now, FoA gets into the act, based on an assumption that appears to have no provable basis. Pull-eeezz! If someone was really mistreating an animal or trip-wiring horses, *that* would be grounds fer concern. But *this* is the silliest drivel I’ve read in VARIETY of late, and it deseves to be ignored and given no coverage at all.

  8. J.E.Vizzusi says:

    More pre-release hype attempting to pre-sell a film with the most anti holiday theme and subject matter ever in a major release.

    Animal rights person or group not mentioned would be better served picketing the offices of Blackstone Investments the owners of the much (speaking of circuses) misaligned Seaworld!

    How can any film be heralded Best Picture prior to first box office recepts!

    Tell me that one?


  9. Glenn C. says:

    Animals rights are important. They are the ones that have to live with us!!! It’s not them that are the less of the species, it’s humans! What we do to each other along with what we do to them! Such ignorance and selfishness!

  10. big daddy D says:

    What a stupid pointless article. Do any of these FoA people have anything better to do?? I would tell Ms. Birnkrant to go find something useful to rant about.

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