The animal rights organisation PETA is urging moviegoers to stay far away from the film ‘Gigi & Nate’s’, released in September 2022, because of its dangerous promotion of monkeys as “pets” and its use of a real capuchin instead of a CGI animal — as most sensible producers would have done. Allie, the capuchin monkey exploited to make this movie, was supplied by Bob Dunn’s Animal Services, which according to PETA has received multiple citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not recognise primates as service animals, so the film’s portrayal of monkeys as “helpers” could lead to a spike in purchases of exotic animals as “pets.” 

The primatologist Debbie Metzler, PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare, said, “Glamorizing monkeys as ‘pets’ doesn’t do a thing to help people with disabilities, but it does help line the pockets of seedy wildlife dealers who tear families apart. PETA is calling on everyone to boycott the movie and stand up for the real-life monkey who was exploited to make this flop.” PETA is against the use of any animal used in the entertainment industry and has urged anyone who witnesses animals being used for film or television productions to report it to them.

Monkeys, like any wild animal, should not be kept captive in zoos, vivisection labs, labour camps, movie studios, or people’s homes. Monkeys kept in human homes are often sold as infants by unscrupulous animal breeders and dealers, who tear the babies away from their mothers prematurely. People do not realise that primates can become very dangerous when they reach adulthood, so those who bought them often want to get rid of them. Those who end up being used in the entertainment industry (be a circus, a TV show, a movie or a commercial) are often trained in a way that causes them distress. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.