A distraught chimpanzee languishes inside a stark, barren cell, pacing back and forth with no one to interact with and nothing to play with — except, in the end, a gun.
PETA's new public service announcement is narrated by Academy Award–winning actor Adrien Brody and was created by award-winning ad agency BBDO and award-winning production company The Mill. Titled “98% Human,” the thought-provoking new spot illustrates the tragic lives of animal “actors” and asks viewers to put themselves in the great ape’s place. And because the cutting-edge CGI is so realistic, an on-screen disclaimer finally reveals that “[n]o real apes were used in this commercial.”
“The bottom line is that we no longer can excuse the exploitation that exists in this world. Great apes are no exception. They are extremely sensitive, intelligent, and emotional beings. It’s sad that they’re still commonly used in television and film, especially when we know how much they suffer behind the scenes,” says Brody. “Acting should be left to actors—and that means human beings who have a choice in the matter.”
“Adult apes are too strong to control, so the ‘cute’ chimpanzees used in TV and movies are typically babies who were torn away from their mothers and abused during training. After a few short years, most apes are discarded at roadside zoos and other substandard facilities,” says PETA primatologist Julia Gallucci. “With today’s technology, filmmakers can feature animal characters—such as the ape in PETA’s video—without harming a single animal.”
Brody isn’t the only Oscar winner to team up with PETA to speak out against the abuse of apes in the entertainment industry: His The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox costar Anjelica Huston hosts the video No More Monkey Business, which PETA has sent to many ad agencies that have since agreed never to feature great apes in their commercials. Each of the top 10 U.S. advertising agencies has banned the use of great apes in its ads, and BBDO was one of the first to make this pledge.