In response to Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, which some have claimed glorifies animal abuse (and ignores its true protagonists, the tigers themselves), dozens of celebrities have come together in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
If passed, the federal bill, which was introduced last year but only recently gained attention, would prohibit “the private ownership of big cats, direct public contact, and dangerous public interactions with big cats such as cub petting,” according to a letter from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Those who have signed include Joaquin Phoenix (who rescued slaughterhouse cows hours after winning an Oscar), Rooney Mara, Iggy Pop, Justin Theroux, Jenny Slate, and Christopher Walken.
“Documentaries can be powerful forces for change, sometimes through a call to action and other times simply by telling a story that entertains, creating a window into a world viewers weren’t previously aware of,” filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite, who directed the 2013 SeaWorld expose, said in a statement. “But at some point, there is a pivot and the passion of their millions of viewers lands somewhere useful.” She continued:
“Tiger King and its audience can do that now. The world of big cat captivity requires a call to action, and I’m encouraged that through this partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and support for our petition by the entertainment industry, we may see enough pressure lead to the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.”
You can find out more about the Big Cat Public Safety Act here.