HBO: Stop Supporting the Violent Abuse of Elephants
HBO’s series Westworld is paying a California based company called Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) to use real elephants in its shows. HTWT is notorious for viciously beating its elephants with bull hooks, electric prods, and stun guns during training in order to force them to perform. Tell HBO that this is unacceptable!
HBO has already received negative media about the elephants and we are deeply disappointed with the company’s tepid response and lack of accountability. HBO did attempt to acknowledge the situation by saying, “We are reviewing the circumstances related to archival training footage which included one of the elephants that appeared in the series,” but we want meaningful action, not just words. HBO is profiting off the exploitation and suffering of elephants while providing direct financial support to HTWT, a business that is built upon animal cruelty.
The archival footage HBO is referring to is an undercover video of HTWT training sessions of elephants taken by Animal Defenders International (ADI) from a few years ago. Kari Johnson, co-owner of HTWT, has acknowledged under oath that HTWT keeps its elephants in chains for more than 12 hours a day. In the video, you can see her, and other staff, beating elephants with bullhooks, other cruel devices, and manipulating a terrified and confused baby elephant by grabbing her trunk.
HBO also claims that the American Humane Association (AHA) has confirmed that the animals were well-treated, and the production received the designation of “No Animals Were Harmed.” But this designation is empty lip service. The entertainment industry bankrolls the AHA and is its only regulator. Injuries, abuses and deaths that occur on set are consistently downplayed and covered up by the AHA, which is accountable to no one but the industry itself.
HBO cannot abdicate responsibility for endorsing such abuse once word gets out about the extreme cruelty involved. HBO must be held to a higher standard, and not be allowed to condone or defend such egregious animal abuse.
What You Can Do:
Demand that HBO stop using elephants and other live animals when it can use computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology. Fill out the fields on the right-hand side of this page and send our letter.