Here is your offbeat news for the day. It turns out that the chimpanzee being used for Speed Racer is quite the vixen. After biting one of the 'young actors', PETA has raised concerns that the chimp might have been beaten or is still being beaten.
The chimp bit an actor, it sounds more vice versa actually.
Monkey Trouble on the Set of Speed Racer
MSNBC posted this exchange of letters between PETA and superproducer, Joel Silver, under Breaking News:
“We are in receipt of information that may upset you,” PETA wrote to the producer Joel Silver, the man behind such megahits as the “Matrix” and “Die Hard” series. “We’ve received several troubling complaints from people who have been on the ‘Speed Racer’ set and report that the main chimpanzee ‘actor’ has been beaten and has bitten one of the human actors.” PETA urged Silver to stop using the live critters and switch to animatronics.
“We appreciate the concerns of your organization,” came back the letter from movie company Warner Bros. “We also respect the vision and choices of the filmmakers with which we work. Every option on a film is carefully weighed, and for this production, the decision was made to use live animals.”
A spokesperson confirmed that a chimp did chomp on a young actor, but said that the actor was treated and the animal was given a rest. She sent along assurances from the American Humane Society that no animals were being abused.
PETA's response was an unhappy one. They are still pushing to have some representation on the set of Speed Racer to closely monitor the chimp.
Though I am in disbelief about any 'abuse', I did hear they washed the chimp with 'animal-tested' shampoo just to spite its ego. If there is one thing we know about chimps, it is that they are very cunning.
Let the mind games begin!
*props to anyone who finds out who was actually bitten.