(from Billboard Magazine, September 17, 2013) Katy Perry’s music video for her song “Roar,” which is on Billboard’s Hot 100 list for the number one spot, has been targeted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for allegedly traumatizing the animal stars in the music video.
In the video, Perry becomes friends with a monkey, showers with the assistance of a friendly elephant, brushes the teeth of a crocodile, and “roars” a tiger into submission. Although it looks as if the animals of the jungle are having a fun time in paradise, PETA wrote the video’s directors and producers a letter protesting their use of animals in the music video.
The letter written by PETA’s Merrilee Burke states, “What you may not know — as most people do not — is that animals used for entertainment in film and television endure horrific cruelty and suffer from extreme confinement and violent training methods.” Furthermore, Burke explains how a set filled with bright lights, heavy equipment and crowds can traumatize an animal or spur stress and anxiety in unfamiliar and freighting situations.
Katy Perry, being an animal lover herself and a longtime advocate for the rights of animals, has responded by obtaining her own letter from the American Humane Association which had representatives present at each day of the three-day shoot. This letter states, “American Humane Association was on set for the filming of the above referenced music video, which used an elephant, a monkey, birds and a tiger. After reviewing the reports, we believe that the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media were followed and that no animal was harmed in the making of this music video.”
Perry’s response backs up what the onset sources described as a “slow pace” to the music video filming process. Everything was apparently “done by the book.”
Meanwhile, PETA’s Merrilee Burke urges the directors to consider using CGI animals and special effects for future projects. Burke also wants to meet with directors and discuss this ongoing issue.