The animal rights organization PETA suffered an onslaught of setbacks this past weekend with the celebration of Groundhog Day, the airing of a vegan-trolling Super Bowl commercial, and, apparently, the “Toy Story 4” trailer premiere.
According to Inside The Magic, PETA’s Manager of Animals in Film and Television, Laura Thomasson, released a statement urging “Toy Story 4” director Josh Cooley to make the iconic character Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts) more animal-friendly by removing her trademark shepherd’s crook.
Given that recently revealed images of Bo Peep show that Disney has given her a modern makeover, featuring her in a stance that echoes Rey in “Star Wars,” PETA’s Thomasson laments that Disney didn’t get even more woke by removing the character’s “outdated and cruel” shepherd’s staff.
“Given that she was designed to have a ‘modern’ look, why hasn’t she ‘lost’ that outdated and cruel crook?” Thomasson begins. “You may not know that these ‘shepherd’s crooks,’ are used solely to hook a sheep’s neck and force these gentle animals to move. That isn’t something that a progressive Bo Peep would countenance in 2019!”
Thomasson goes on to say that a truly “badass” Bo Peep would be a woman that rejects the symbol of animal domination. She continued, “A ‘badass’ Bo Peep would likely bop the shearers, not the sheep … Surely you can agree that a symbol of domination over any animal is a thing of the past and not something that belongs in Toy Story 4. Won’t you please consider removing Bo Peep’s crook from the final animation?”
PETA’S FULL LETTER:
Dear Mr. Cooley,
Greetings from PETA! Many of our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide have loved the Toy Story franchise since its inception. Being the first fully computer-generated feature film, it paved the way for computer animation and digital technologies to replace wild animals who would otherwise be exploited for the big screen.
I’m contacting you today about Bo Peep’s new look. Given that she was designed to have a “modern” look, why hasn’t she “lost” that outdated and cruel crook? You may not know that these “shepherd’s crooks,” are used solely to hook a sheep’s neck and force these gentle animals to move. That isn’t something that a progressive Bo Peep would countenance in 2019! A “badass” Bo Peep would likely bop the shearers, not the sheep.
At PETA, we’re working hard to change the way in which people regard and treat animals, including sheep. Our exposés are heartbreaking and show that sheep are routinely punched, kicked, dragged, and stomped on when they’re shorn by workers who are paid to work quickly and remove a lot of wool in a short amount of time, as you can see here. Surely you can agree that a symbol of domination over any animal is a thing of the past and not something that belongs in Toy Story 4. Won’t you please consider removing Bo Peep’s crook from the final animation?
We know that kind people everywhere would sing your praises—and Bo Peep’s, too—with this change. Thanks so much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Manager, Animals in Film and Television
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)