Alec Baldwin Asks Radio City to ‘High Kick’ Animal Exhibit From Christmas Show


For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2023

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New York – Appalled by the use of camels, sheep, and donkeys in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular’s Nativity scene, Alec Baldwin sent a letter today on PETA’s behalf urging the owner of Radio City Music Hall to make this season’s production the last to use live animals.

Baldwin points out that it’s highly stressful and confusing for animals to be hauled from city to city in cramped trucks, stored backstage like props, and subjected to loud sounds and disorienting lights—and that the animal supplier that the Christmas Spectacular has used for decades has been cited for denying animals even basic necessities, such as clean and safe enclosures and veterinary care programs.

“The Christmas Spectacular already features extremely talented human performers, and reinventing the iconic show to be animal-free would bring it into the modern era and truly align it with the Christmas spirit,” writes Baldwin. “Please ensure that this year’s show will be the last that uses animals and give this archaic practice a high kick out of your production and into the history books.”

To underscore Baldwin’s message, PETA members dressed as elves will dump wheelbarrows full of coal on Radio City Music Hall’s doorstep at 7 p.m. today to illustrate that the Christmas Spectacular will stay on Santa’s “naughty” list until it evolves with the times and goes animal-free.

A camel tied up backstage at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: PETA

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

Baldwin’s letter to Radio City’s owner follows.

December 21, 2023

James L. Dolan

Executive Chair and CEO

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.

Dear Mr. Dolan:

Nothing is more magical than visiting New York City during the holidays, when people from all around the world come to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. But as someone who cares deeply about animals, I was disappointed to learn that the show doesn’t just feature dazzling human performers like the Rockettes but also camels, sheep, and donkeys, who are forced to participate in the Nativity scene.

Holiday displays and productions are anything but merry for animals who are often deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them. They feel fear, pain, and stress, just like us, yet they’re hauled from city to city in cramped trucks, stored in back rooms like props, and subjected to loud sounds and disorienting lights. The Dawn Animal Agency, which you’ve worked with for decades, has frequently been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating federal law for denying animals even basic necessities, such as clean and safe enclosures, adequate space, and veterinary care programs. No production should want to be associated with such cruelty.

Some of New York’s most successful productions, such as Broadway’s The Lion King with its intricate puppetry, creatively work animals into their shows without forcing any of them to take the stage. The Christmas Spectacular already features extremely talented human performers, and reinventing the iconic show to be animal-free would bring it into the modern era and truly align it with the Christmas spirit. Please ensure that this year’s show will be the last that uses animals and give this archaic practice a high kick out of your production and into the history books.

Thanks for your consideration of this important issue.

Sincerely,

Alec Baldwin





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