For Immediate Release:
October 28, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – Ahead of production on Legally Blonde 3 and in honor of protagonist Elle Woods’ animal advocacy, PETA is urging star Reese Witherspoon and writer Mindy Kaling to keep dogs from commercial suppliers out of the film and promote animal adoption messaging instead of inadvertently glamorizing the breeding of Chihuahuas. In doing so, the film’s third installment could prevent Chihuahuas from being impulse-purchased from pet shops and breeders and later neglected or even abandoned at shelters—which was reported following previous Legally Blonde releases when unprepared fans wanted their very own Bruisers.
“As a Gemini vegetarian who made it her mission to end animal abuse in the form of cosmetics testing, Elle would certainly object to the neglect that PETA and law-enforcement investigations have uncovered at Hollywood suppliers” the letter reads. “That’s why PETA celebrates when filmmakers use humane technology or cast their own companion animals instead.”
PETA notes that most dogs used in film and TV suffer behind-the-scenes at commercial animal suppliers: Dogs have been denied food so they’d be motivated by hunger when being trained to perform tricks, kept in cramped cages stacked on top of one another in a dark garage and left outside in barren kennels without bedding despite temperatures in the low 40s, and animals have been deprived of veterinary care, even when sick or injured.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Kaling and Witherspoon follows.
Dear Mindy and Reese,
As fans around the world anticipate Elle Woods’ next move in Legally Blonde 3, we hope you’ll “ask not what your best friend can do for man but what you can do for man’s best friend” by vowing to keep dogs from commercial suppliers out of the film and promoting animal adoption instead of inadvertently glamorizing the breeding of Chihuahuas or other purebred dogs.
As a Gemini vegetarian who made it her mission to end animal abuse in the form of cosmetics testing, Elle would certainly object to the neglect that PETA and law-enforcement investigations have uncovered at Hollywood suppliers. While Elle treated Bruiser with love and respect, the reality is grim for most dogs used in film and TV, who are often deprived of the very things all dogs deserve—a family and a cozy bed in a loving home to rest their head on each night.
At off-set training compounds, dogs have been found kept in kennels stacked on top of one another in a garage and left outside in barren kennels without bedding, despite temperatures that dropped into the low 40s. In addition, animals have been denied food so that they’d be hungry while being trained to perform tricks and sick and injured animals have been deprived of veterinary care. That’s why PETA celebrates when filmmakers use humane technology or cast their own companion animals instead, just as Bradley Cooper did in A Star Is Born—because that means the dog has a real home and isn’t condemned to languishing at a facility, just to be used as a prop when the time comes.
It’s no secret that audiences rush to get the breeds they fall in love with on screen. Legally Blonde helped popularize Chihuahuas—adoring fans wanted their very own Bruisers, and shelters reported spikes in their intake of Chihuahuas once the novelty wore off. Since millions of unwanted and abandoned dogs are awaiting homes in shelters today, including nearly 6,000 Chihuahuas on Petfinder.com alone, it would be unethical for more dogs to be bred, bought, and discarded as if they were last season’s fashion fad.
May we please hear from you right away? We can’t wait to see what animal rights fight Elle takes up next. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Associate Director, Animals in Film and Television