A new CBS drama series has been hit with a protest. The show, which is set to premiere this week, is “Zoo.”
Variety reports that the animal rights group PETA has come out against the show’s use of live animals, saying in an announcement: “PETA hopes ‘Zoo’ will be one of this summer’s first cancellations.”
The series, based on the James Patterson-Michael Ledwidge novel of the same name, is premised on a surge in violent attacks by wild animals around the world. The program, which is described as science fiction, is set to premiere Tuesday, June 30.
Brittany Peet, PETA’s foundation deputy director of captive animal law enforcement, said in a statement: “By producing a show that exploits wild animals, including lions, CBS has proved that it’s out of sync with public opinion at a time when people are shunning SeaWorld’s captive orca sideshows, states and counties are passing laws banning wild animal acts and private ownership, and Ringling Bros. is taking elephants off the road.”
Variety notes: “Star James Wolk told reporters at a Los Angeles press junket for the show in May that precautions were taken to ensure the actors felt comfortable around the wild animals during filming. ‘All the animals that we’ve had down on set — and it’s been tons of animals, because it should also be said there hasn’t been a ton of CGI, there’s been a lot of real animals on set — they all come with trainers,’ he said.”
Wolk added that “it’s been a real, as far as these things go, an efficient process with the animals.”
The animals on the set reportedly have included an 800-pound grizzly bear and a lion. PETA has indicated that it wanted CBS to use CGI animals rather than real ones.