American animal rights group Friends of Animals has threatened to “take action” against Martin Scrosese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” due to the use of a chimpanzee in the film.
The Chimp, named Chance, played Leonardo DiCaprio’s pet and can be seen early on in the film dressed in a suit and roller skating through the company office.
According to FoA, the chimp was exploited and could suffer “long-term damage” from being forced to act.
“FoA’s (New York Director, Edita Birnkrant) plans to confront DiCaprio and Scorsese at the red carpet premiere,” read a press release from FoA.
The organisation also threatens to “boycott films that use animals”.
Birnkrant recently wrote an article, titled “Animals in Entertainment – Hollywood’s Betrayal of Great Apes”, that was published in FoA’s magazine Action Line. According to FoA, the piece “reveals Chance’s life story of exploitation and exposes the cruel teaching methods of his circus animal trainer”.
Danny Porush, the real-life man Jonah Hill’s character is based on, told Mother Jones that the film strayed from actual events.
“There was never a chimpanzee in the office. There were no animals in the office…I would also never abuse an animal in any way,” he said.
However in the same scene in the film, the wealthy stockbrokers were seen to be “dwarf-tossing”, and Porush did admit that the firm hired dwarfs to come into the office.
“We never abused [or threw] the midgets in the office; we were friendly to them.”
The “Wolf of Wall Street” New York premiere will take place on Tuesday.