Rock band The Offspring criticized for using chimpanzees in music video

Chimpanzees at a zoo, photo: satya deep on Unsplash
Chimpanzees at a zoo, photo: satya deep on Unsplash

The American rock band The Offspring, famous in the 1990s, used chimpanzees dressed up as man and wife in their latest video clip.

The video starts with a chimpanzee ‘dolled up’ with short jeans, a pink crop top and a wig vacuuming the house. Then, her ‘husband’ comes homes, fully dressed in a suit.

The chimpanzees are forced into very unnatural positions and clothing: in every scene, they’re made to wear different clothing and one of them is even seen in a strip club with American actor John Stamos.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asked the lead singer of the band, Dexter Holland, to take down the video as it normalizes the exploitation of these highly intelligent, sensitive animals.

It may also increase the black-market demand for endangered great apes as pets, which is one of the main forces driving them towards extinction, PETA said.

The IUCN/World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species has listed each species of African great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos – as endangered. 

“The out-of-touch video for We Never Have Sex Anymore risks resurrecting the chimpanzee trade in Hollywood,” Laren Thomasson, PETA’s Animals in Film and Television senior manager, wrote in a letter to Holland.

She mentioned that the “smiles” the chimpanzees show in the clip are actually fear expressions that humans often see as smiling, adding that every primate expert condemns this kind of old-school exploitation.

“There are plenty of things we all miss about the ’90s—but animal exploitation isn’t among them,” Thomasson wrote.

“Every minute your video remains online, it risks legitimizing a cruel industry, propping up the exotic pet trade, and reversing years of animal advocacy work that has nearly ended the use of chimpanzees in Hollywood,” Thomasson said.

According to PETA, the animals were supplied by notorious animal supplier Steve Martin, who failed to meet the mandatory animal welfare regulations numerous times.

Martin has locked chimpanzees and orangutans in cramped “night housing” for up to 18 hours a day, PETA said, and failed to provide animals with adequate shelter, ventilation, clean cages, and proper feeding.

“He also has a history of disposing of unwanted chimpanzees and other wild animals. Two of the chimpanzees he used ended up at the atrocious G.W. Zoo, which was featured in Netflix’s Tiger King,” Thomasson wrote.

“These chimpanzees’ tragic story is something that just can’t repeat. We urge you to pull the video immediately,” Thomasson pleaded.

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