PETA is Not Happy About Steven Spielberg’s Use of a Monkey in New Movie The Fablemans

PETA is Not Happy About Steven Spielberg’s Use of a Monkey in New Movie The Fablemans

Although Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Fablemans, won’t be out for a couple of months, there’s enough footage to already get the director in hot water with PETA.

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Fabelmans will be a semi-autobiography of Spielberg’s younger years and how he fell in love with film. The first trailer of the new movie was released just a few days ago, and one scene, in particular, shows the mother telling the family that she purchased a monkey because she “needed a laugh.” The monkey can be seen jumping around the house and on the family members.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not too happy with the fact that a real-life monkey was used, and they are demanding that this scene be removed from the movie.

Debbie Metzler, PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare said in a statement, “Steven Spielberg was imaginative enough to create a lovable alien in 1982 and followed that up with herds of realistic computer-generated dinosaurs in the 1990s, so what’s his excuse for dragging a real monkey onto a film set in 2022? His mother might have ‘needed a laugh,’ but PETA’s not laughing—and neither should anyone else who cares about animals. This monkey scene is an endorsement of the cruel animal-training industry and an advertisement for the seedy wildlife ‘pet’ trade, and PETA is calling on Spielberg to live up to his legacy as an industry leader by leaving this scene on the cutting room floor.”

PETA noted in the statement that monkeys that are used as “pets” or for film and television productions are typically separated from their mothers at a young age. Trainers often use violence behind the scenes to force wild animals to perform on cue.

There have been many times in real life when animals have attacked people or snapped on sets. These are extremely high-stress environments that these animals would not be exposed to in their normal world. However much they are domesticated and born into this type of work, it will never be what the animal wants or needs.

On the bright side, animals on film have come a long way, with more and more animals on screen being replaced with computer-generated images. Live animals on sets are now monitored by American Humane to ensure humane working conditions, but how humane is it to make these animals work in the first place when they can’t speak for themselves?

We can help these animals by not supporting the businesses that exploit them. Refrain from buying tickets to circuses, zoos, or movies that use wild animals. This will leave these companies with less financial support to keep their cruel practices going. Today’s special effects and simulations provide the same visual experience as watching an animal on screen or stage without the involvement of cruelty or captivity.

The film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” wowed movie-goers with incredible computer-generated imagery (CGI) and considering the film brought in $100 million during opening weekend in the U.S. alone, we think audiences and producers would agree.

This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 18 September 2022. Lead Image Source : Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.

What you can do

Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.


Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.

Dive in!

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We promise we’ll never spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment