MEDIA RELEASE: Ricky Gervais Slams “Disgusting” Fur with In Defense of Animals for Fur Free Friday

MEDIA RELEASE: Ricky Gervais Slams “Disgusting” Fur with In Defense of Animals for Fur Free Friday

San Rafael, Calif. (November 24, 2020)In Defense of Animals has joined forces with world-renowned animal advocate and celebrity comedian Ricky Gervais to educate shoppers about the true cost of fur and encourage major retailers to ban fur sales for Fur Free Friday on November 27.

In Defense of Animals has been fighting against the fur trade since the 80s, and helped create the longest-running animal protection demonstration in the world, known as Fur Free Friday. Fur Free Friday events take place every year on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Animal advocates come together to help educate the public about the fur industry and the animals it harms in the wild and on fur farms, and to call for an end to the cruelty inherent in this industry.

This year, due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions around the world, In Defense of Animals has coordinated a virtual Fur Free Friday effort with the help of Ricky Gervais, who stands in solidarity against the brutal deaths of innocent animals for fur. 

“If you buy fur then you buy cruelty,” said Ricky Gervais. “Beautiful, innocent, intelligent animals, tortured to death for fashion. Shame on you. Disgusting. I stand with In Defense of Animals against the cruel fur trade.”



Tens of thousands of mink on U.S. fur farms have died after contracting COVID-19. Millions of mink continue to be slaughtered on fur farms in Denmark and around the world after mink and fur farm workers tested positive for the deadly disease.

Within the last several years, fur bans have been enacted in San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles. In October 2019, In Defense of Animals and its allies celebrated a ground-breaking victory when California became the first state in the country to ban fur sales and fur trapping.

The list of designers and companies ditching fur in favor of ethical alternatives continues to grow, and now includes many major retailers. Bloomingdales, Chanel, Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and TJ Maxx have all made the compassionate choice to eliminate animal fur from their stores. 

For Fur Free Friday 2020, In Defense of Animals is calling on its international supporters to urge Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to go fur free through its new video. 


The video exposes the hideous reality behind fur production. Undercover footage is featured from award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, her film The Ghosts In Our Machine and We Animals Media project, as well as from filmmaker Karol Orzechowski, Animal Equality, Djurrattsalliansen, and #MakeFurHistory. 

“Join this year’s virtual Fur Free Friday efforts by urging Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to ditch animal fur for good,” said Julie Massa, Fur Campaigner for In Defense of Animals. 

Animal advocates are urged to share this simple message on social media and tagging @saks and @neimanmarcus: 

Fur is cruel. Fur is outdated. Fur is ugly. Please ditch animal fur and commit to offering faux fur only!


Watch the Video:

Take Action:

Contact: Julie Massa, 415-448-0048 x232,


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

Act Now