A group of celebrities that includes Sean Penn and Gwyneth Paltrow wrote a letter addressing the brutal dolphin slaughter currently happening in Taiji -- they urged Obama not to sign a trade agreement until the hunt is banned. It was written by producer and activist Russell Simmons, and signed by Cher, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Hudson, Charlize Theron, Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner, among others. The letter, which can be found in its entirety here, reads:
We, the undersigned, ask you to personally deliver this petition to President Barack Obama urging him to NOT sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until Japan bans the slaughter and capture of Dolphins in Taiji.
We, the undersigned, are not using this petition to assert a position in regards to the TPP, rather we are underscoring that your influential voice in defense of the dolphins of Japan is instrumental in expressing to the White House the importance of making their slaughter and captive trade a key factor in the negotiations ahead. Corporations have spent the past two years marking-up the language of the TPP to serve their interests, should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests? Although we understand that the negotiations have been quite lengthy, at this point, we feel the only way to end these heinous crimes against dolphins migrating through Japan's waters is to inject our position into the current conversation regarding the trade agreement.
The letter cited Caroline Kennedy's tweet about the hunt, which drew international attention -- and criticism -- to Taiji.
The trade agreement is being negotiated by 12 nations that altogether make up about 40 percent of global gross domestic product. Simmons said the signatories aren't against the trade agreement -- just the dolphin hunt, which was revealed in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove."
The full list of signees is as follows:
Sean Penn Mia Farrow Sam Simon Cher Moby Ann Wilson Emily Deschanel Ingrid Newkirk / PETA Diane Warren Courtney Love Captain Paul Watson Susan Sarandon Chris DeRose / Last Chance for Animals Jennifer Hudson Nick Cannon Melissa Carbone / TTO Productions Shannon Elizabeth Oliver Stone Trevor Neilson / Global Philanthropy Group Nathan Runkle / Mercy for Animals Ellen DeGeneres Gene Baur / Farm Sanctuary Ian Somerhalder Olivia Munn Kellan Lutz Shannen Doherty Charlize Theron Cameron Diaz Alicia Silverstone Channing and Jenna Tatum Woody Harrelson Pamela Anderson Sharon Lawrence William Shattner Tony Kanal Gwyneth Paltrow Jennifer Aniston Josh Grad Reverend Jesse Jackson