PETA’s ‘cruelty’ to teddy bear ad can air on WTNH news, not in prime time
NEW HAVEN — A commercial showing a teddy bear being experimented on, cut open and tossed away will not air during “The Bachelorette,” but WTNH is willing to show the ad as part of a news story about animal experimentation.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a press release Monday saying a sales manager for the ABC-TV affiliate had rejected the “completely nongraphic” ad because its content was “a little tough for viewing.” WTNH’s General Manager Rich Graziano said the time slot was sold out and that the commercial isn’t appropriate to show during family prime time.
“The spot depicts cruelty to animals and it’s a tough spot to show at 8:30,” Graziano said. However, he added, “I’ve invited [them] to come on our news and public affairs program to talk about this issue at length.” He said the issue would get more viewers on the news and would “live” on wtnh.com indefinitely.
PETA has protested Yale University’s use of animals in lab experimentation, including sparrows and mice, calling the work cruel and painful for the animals. Yale’s animal research mission statement says, “Yale University is committed to conducting quality animal research in an ethical and responsible manner to further science and to improve the health of society.” Yale says its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee follows federal and state laws governing use of animal experimentation.
PETA’s ad shows a lost teddy bear picked up and trucked to a lab, where it is strapped to a table, has fluid injected into its eye, has electrodes and intravenous tubes attached, then is cut open and has some of its stuffing removed. Finally, the toy is thrown in a garbage can. The tagline is, “A Real Animal is Someone. Not Some Thing.”
“If it’s ‘tough’ to see a teddy bear experimented on, imagine how the public would react to seeing what happens to real animals at Yale University and in other laboratories,” Guillermo said in the press release. “Right now, experimenters at Yale are hurting thousands of monkeys, mice, pigs, and other animals — and they’re allowed to hide the abuse from the public, whose tax dollars fund most of it.”
PETA said the ad, which won a bronze-level Telly Award, has aired in prime time in Baltimore; Madison, Wis., Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Seattle. The Telly Awards “honor excellence in video and television across all screens.”
PETA claimed that in 2018, Yale researchers experimented on 159 monkeys, 470 hamsters, 104 pigs, 369 13-lined ground squirrels and “countless mice and rats.” The group protested experiments by then-postdoctoral student Christine Lattin, who subjected wild house sparrows to stress to examine their responses. Lattin is now an assistant professor at Louisiana State University.