The ‘Selfie Monkey’ And His Photographer Are Getting A Biopic

Senior Contributor
05.07.18

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Taking a selfie with a monkey is a bad idea, but it turns out, letting a monkey take its own selfie isn’t such a great idea either. Fortunately, Hollywood will be telling us just why that is by adapting a monkey selfie, or, rather, the strange story behind it, into a movie, which sadly probably will not be called If You Let A Monkey Take A Selfie.

Back in 2011, wildlife photographer David Slater set up a camera, and a crested macaque named Naruto used it to snap photos of himself grinning. Slater, who found this hilarious because, come on, it’s a monkey selfie, posted them to the internet, they went viral, and then he got sued by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who claimed he was infringing on Naruto’s copyright by posting the photos. Slater was just a means to an end: PETA thought they could use him to establish a new frontier in animal rights. (Remember, these people also thought dressing up like the KKK to protest dog shows was a good idea.)

Thus began a bizarre seven-year journey for Slater, which ended last month with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to let Slater and PETA settle the case so they could rule in Slater’s favor, resulting in a bizarre spectacle of three judges trying to each dunk on PETA the hardest for, basically, wasting seven years and thousands of dollars pretending they had the right to sue on behalf of a monkey, which they didn’t.

Conde Nast, the magazine publisher, is going to bring that tale to the screen as they’ve bought Slater’s life rights, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Considering PETA’s general refusal to keep anything in perspective, this probably won’t be the last we hear of their quest to grant animals copyright protections. Hey, if they sue Conde Nast, Conde Nast could sell themselves the life rights and make a sequel!

(via Hollywood Reporter)

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