Zoo will return to CBS for its second season on Tuesday, and there is some new controversy surrounding the series. Bob Barker penned a letter asking for CBS to stop the use of live animals on the series. Barker has long been an animal advocate, and he hosted The Price is Right for 35 years. Each day, he would end the show with a message about animals.
Barker said the following in his letter, according to Entertainment Weekly:
“As former host of the longest-running show on CBS, I am writing to you after hearing from my friends at PETA that your network continues to allow wild animals to be used on Zoo, despite learning that, when used for entertainment, big cats and other animals are torn away from their mothers, subjected to abusive training methods, and locked inside tiny cages. I urge you to end this exploitation and adopt a network-wide policy banning the use of wild animals in future CBS programming. While I was relieved that Zoo dropped plans to use notorious animal trainer Michael Hackenberger this season after PETA notified producers that he had been caught on camera violently whipping a tiger – for which he is now facing five charges of cruelty to animals – eyewitness investigations and whistleblower reports have revealed that physical and psychological abuse of wild animals used for film and television is standard practice. The only way to stop this cruelty is to replace the use of captive wild animals in your shows with the creative, versatile, and humane technology that exists today, such as computer-generated imagery. As demonstrated by productions such as Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and the upcoming David Yates film, The Legend of Tarzan, in which large numbers of animals have been created with such technology, it’s time for CBS to step up for animals and follow suit.”
CBS already responded to Barker’s letter with a statement that said, “We have the greatest respect for PETA and its cause. The health, safety and welfare of animals in our care during filming continues to be our highest priority.”
TV Guide teased that phase two of the animal problem on the series will have the animals trying to destroy the world and make it uninhabitable.
Are you a fan of Zoo? Do you agree with Bob Barker’s letter? Tell us what you think.