Chimp In New Scorsese Film Has Had Rough Life, Activists Say
The cute chimpanzee that rollerblades his way through Martin Scorsese's new film "The Wolf of Wall Street," has had a checkered past, claim activists who have been calling for a boycott of the movie. Friends of Animals, a New York-based advocacy group says that the chimp, name Chance, is a third-generation captive chimp who was taken from his mother at a very young age.
When Chance was seven months old, he was bought from a breeder in Missouri (where it's legal to breed chimps) by Pam Rosaire, an animal circus trainer. Now seven, Rosaire said it took three weeks to train Chance to roller skate, which he needed to do for the role. Activists worry that the chimp may have suffered from neurotic behaviours from his long time in the entertainment industry.
The film depicts the offices of a 1990s Long Island brokerage house, and the chimp is featured roller skating alongside DiCaprio. The group's statement doesn't point to any particular abuses as evidence, but rather objects to what they call "Chance's life story of exploitation and exposes the cruel teaching methods of his circus animal trainer."
The criticism comes just weeks after as a expose published in The Hollywood Reporter that accused the film industry of negligence toward animal actors.