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Kim's hypocrisy regarding animal rights

Kim Basinger has been a long-time and dedicated supporter of animal rights and, in addition to supporting anti-circus charity PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society), she is a member of the world’s second biggest (and most vocal) animal rights group, PETA (People for the ethical Treatment of Animals). It is arguable that she is responsible for influencing ex-husband Alec Baldwin in his support for the group. The pair of them used their celebrity status the most during the 1990s to promote animal rights charities and they worked on various campaigns to promote vegan-ism and opposition to the use of fur. At the peak of her career in 1997 Basinger voiced her condemnation of circuses that use animals. She arrived in New Mexico to announce her crusade to save animals and issued this statement to the press:
“These animals are kept in horrific conditions. They’re dragged around cities suffering in the name of entertainment.”

In addition to the circus mentioned in the link, Basinger was a frequent opponent of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. 1998 seems have been the year that Basinger’s attention went from PETA’s anti-fur campaign to its anti-animal circus one. Fur was old news at the time and animal circus controversy was raging across the Atlantic with many animal rights celebrities joining the cause in the USA and the UK. At the time Basinger was arguably at the peak of her career with her comeback success in “L.A. Confidential” and a high profile low-risk campaign such as this might have seemed perfect. She lobbied for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus to have their licence suspended pending an investigation into the death of a 3 year old elephant.

Why is this celebrity a hypocrite?

The audacity of this particular celebrity is incredible. In 1998, following her critical success in “L.A. Confidential” Basinger took the lead in a multi-million dollar flop called “I Dreamed of Africa”. Perhaps high on her critical success, Basinger imagined she was going to tread in Meryl Streep’s footsteps with her very own “Out of Africa”. She appeared on the September “Today” program to promote the film and also champion her cause against the use of animals in circuses, particularly elephants, which were the main animal stars of said movie. However, the above linked “People” magazine article lightly mentions Basinger’s hypocrisy. Circus people hit back at the star claiming that the elephants used were from a South African circus, as were all the other animals.

One person’s word against another’s? No, not at all. The elephants used in “I Dreamed of Africa” came from “Brian’s Circus”, today known as “Brian Boswell’s Circus”. Our source from the company explained in detail how the circus lorry bearing the elephants was emblazoned with show’s logo and only a few meters away from Ms Basinger. Basinger saw first-hand how the ankus (aka the “bull-hook”) was used to maneuver trained elephants and she voiced no complaints on set whatsoever.

The USA’s most famous animal welfare association, The American Humane Association (not to be confused with the radical animal rights group, the Humane Association of the United States), which often stands on the sets of major motion pictures that feature animals to confirm that no animals have been harmed, confirms that circus animals were used throughout the filming of I Dreamed of Africa”.
“Enter Stage Right” noted the apparent double-standards:

Basinger accused of ‘Situational Ethics’

There’s always a risk involved in loudly championing a cause, as Kim Basinger recently discovered.

Animal trainer Jim Stockwell [actually Stockley] tells New York magazine that the well-known animal-rights activist had no complaints against using elephants for her latest movie, I Dreamed of Africa, even though she’s frequently campaigned against the animals’ use in circuses.

“I did think that was strange, that an animal-rights activist who feels so strongly about the use of trained animals would agree to do this movie in the first place,” Stockwell says.

A spokesman for Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus accused Basinger of “situational ethics,” saying that the elephants used in Africa were trained “using the same methods she attacks us for.”

As mentioned above, the source for this comes from the New York magazine. Here is what they had to say:


Kim Basinger should remember that elephants have a longer memory than she apparently does. The actress, a militant animal-rights activist who has crusaded to ban elephants and other trained animals from circuses, recently finished shooting a movie in South Africa that stars, among other trained animals . . . circus elephants. In I Dreamed of Africa, based on a true story, Basinger stars as wildlife conservationist Kuki Gallman. For three days while filming in South Africa, she was surrounded by trained elephants and lions from the local Brian’s Circus. “I did think that it was strange that an animal-rights activist, who feels so strongly about the use of trained animals, would agree to do this movie in the first place,” says Brian’s Circus animal trainer Jim Stockley. “I also thought it strange that she never even approached me to inquire about the treatment of our animals.”
[Read full report here]

As you will note from both these reports further criticism came from information that a dog was sedated for a scene it shared with Basinger. Apparently the dog, which didn’t come from a circus, was trained and perfectly fit to perform the scene without sedation. However, this was for “the actor’s benefit” and the sedative was administered by a qualified veterinary surgeon. The production was warned by the trainer that this was contrary to AHA guidelines. Anyway, New York Post satirical cartoonist Sean Delonas pretty much summed up Rouster’s feelings on Basinger and her ridiculous defense of ignorance in the following cartoon.

During a 1996 PETA awards gala, Alec Baldwin was interviewed by the television program “Extra… The Entertainment Magazine,” where he voiced his opposition to ALL medical research. At the same time, however, Baldwin has also advocated for breast cancer research and has publicly supported various AIDS-related charities.

In October 1997, a university renamed its breast cancer facility in honor of Alec Baldwin’s mother, Carol Baldwin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 1990. This recognition honored her many years of activism in raising both awareness and funding for research of the critical affliction. In 1997, Baldwin participated in a gala that raised more than $500,000 for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Inc.

In 2000, animal rights proponents were shocked to learn that PETA shills Alec Baldwin and wife Kim Basinger are the proud, unrepentant owners of eleven dogs, seven cats and a wolf. While condemning the pet ownership of others, the average animal rights activist keeps five or more pets, according to a 1993 survey by Animals Agenda. Such hypocrites call us “hoarders.”

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- They are wealthy and famous and
perhaps even well intentioned, but the television and movie stars who are
lending their names to support a proposed ban on circus elephants (H.B. 2929)
are hypocrites, according to the Outdoor Amusement Business Association. "If
celebrities want to use their star power to try to pass legislation, they have
an obligation to do their homework, get their facts straight and act in
accordance with their beliefs," says Robert W. Johnson, executive director of
the OABA.
The House Subcommittee on Crime plans hearings on the legislation on
June 13.
Kim Basinger, who has posed with an elephant in an ad supporting the ban,
had no problem using circus elephants and other animals in a recent movie.
Game show host Bob Barker's life was recently prolonged with heart surgery
using medical procedures perfected with animal research.
"The average circus is a small family-owned business where we work with
and care for our animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,"
said Johnson. "It is the height of hypocrisy for a millionaire movie star to
try to put our circuses out of business when she has no problem performing
with elephants to make a movie. We are prepared to fight for our livelihoods
and the animals in our care.
"These celebrities have allowed themselves to become the tools of a small
group of activists with an extreme agenda. Anyone who thinks that this
campaign will end with elephants is kidding themselves," Johnson said.
"This bill seeks to rob millions of Americans of the opportunity to enjoy
family entertainment in a safe environment and claims to solve a problem that
doesn't exist," said Heidi Herriott whose family has performed in the circus
for three generations. These extremists won't win, once Congress recognizes
their hidden agenda.
"Animal activists are up to their old tricks of yelling 'fire' in a
crowded theater to draw attention to their extreme agenda," said Herriott.
"Their ultimate goal is to see a society where people don't eat meat, wear
leather shoes, have pets or benefit from life-saving medical research
involving animals."
Circuses have an extraordinary safety record. In 1999 20 million people
visited circuses. More than 10 million people have taken elephant rides
without a serious injury or death in the past ten years. Extremists often
point to isolated incidents involving trainers in venues other than the circus
to pad their statistics. In fact, there have been only 5 incidents involving
circus elephants in the past twenty years.
Circus industry officials also will refute claims concerning the treatment
of circus elephants. Circus elephants live longer, some to as old as 70, and
are generally far healthier than animals living in nature where they are
threatened by lack of natural habitat, poachers, overpopulation, agriculture,
and disease. Without captive breeding programs funded the by circus industry
and others, some Asian elephants would be in danger of extinction.
Congress has already expressed its commitment to the well being of circus
animals when it passed the Animal Welfare Act. The bill under consideration
this week would deviate from the successful policy, which emphasizes the
humane care and safe display of animals. The United States Department of
Agriculture already has the authority to enforce these federal standards.
"Americans love animals. We visit theme parks, zoos and circuses to learn
more about animals. Our admission fees help fund research and breeding
programs that are assisting in preventing the extinction of some animal
breeds. We lavish love and attention on our own pets. Americans have a right
to continue these activities," Herriott added.
"This bill would curtail that freedom because a few want to impose their
radical point of view on average Americans."


In all the time you wasted nit-picking another's apparent failing to be a saint, you could have done something good yourself. None of us is perfect. Most of us never try to do anything good at all. Others waste time finding fault in those of us who try. Congrats on your post. Time well wasted


Kim Basinger quite frankly seems to be the type of person who cares more about the well-being of a fucking rat than actual human suffering. She for instance, never said anything about the passing her old music video co-star Tom Petty or her LA Confidential and 8 Mile director, Curtis Hanson last year.


She's very childish. She loves animals, because loving animals is very easy, but emotionally, I think she has a big problem. She's like someone who never grew up. I don't consider myself to be a grown-up person but I'm more interested in people than in animals. And I think that if you are involved as much as she is with animals, then there is something strange about your dealings with the human race.


YOU ARE AN IDIOT -- if you think LOVING ANIMALS is EASY! Have you read or seen what we humans do to the animals? They need all the CHAMPIONS they can get. I also think it is strange that Kim Basinger did a movie that seems to violate her personal views on animal welfare, but CHILDISH, and never grew up, NO. Animals have no voice, and no way to STOP Man from violating them over and over. Personally, I would RATHER spend my free time with animals. PEOPLE SUCK!


How does suggesting the irony of Kim Basinger starring in a movie featuring trained circus animals make me an IDIOT? I see that you just created your account to make a cheap, ad hominem attack on me. And that's a very valid question that should be asked to a proposed animal rights crusader/activist.

Also, if you support PETA, like Ms. Basinger does, then you might as well turn in your animal activist card, given all of the shit that they have pulled. PETA is as dangerous to animal's lives than any other supposed human violator.

And I'm not necessarily out and out criticizing Kim Basinger for loving animals and wanting to help them. What I am trying to get across is that it is sometimes annoying how militant and strident certain people are when there are numerous other immediate worldly problems that they could equally go as hard into like poverty, racism, curing cancer and AIDS, gun violence, etc.

And yes, I'm going to go out on a limp and ask if it's true that many hardcore animal rights activist like Kim Basinger tend to be weird, antisocial or passive aggressive people?


And like you've done any better yourself! 😒


Shame on her!


PETA is garbage and should no longer be the go to group for Animal rights and vegetarianism/veganism. They should've been irrelevant once it came out they were killing more animals than they save, but they have more money, support and lobbying power than other animal rights organizations.


I don’t know if Basinger is a narcissist, too. I know she was painfully shy as a child, suffered panic attacks, and would faint in school if called on to answer a question. That is closer to closet narcissism than anything else. They cannot tolerate the possible scrutiny of being in the limelight, so they attach themselves to institutions and social causes (Basinger is a PETA and animal rights activist). If it is true she had someone fired for looking her in the eyes, it is possible it could be due to closet narcissism, as they lack empathy for others (although they tend to do ok with sympathy). That is purely speculation on my part and nothing more.


I stopped reading after "Brian Boswell's Circus". Why? In all fairness, we don't know the extent of her movie contract. She was already sued, lost, and was humiliated when she dropped out of Boxing Helena. Playing Devil's advocate, perhaps she faced another situation where she would have been sued had she tried to get out of this movie's contract once she found out about the "circus" elephants.

If you look hard enough, most if not all public people that fight for a cause end up having skeletons in their closet. Big deal. None of us are perfect.

Every person that served can be called a veteran, but not every veteran can be called a Marine.


Oh, shame on the human race, I wish we'd just hurry up and wipe each other out already.


What's your reaction to Kim Basinger leading a protest in Seoul South Korea over South Korea's "dog meat day"?

In June 2018, a South Korean municipal court ruled that killing dogs for their meat was illegal, though this does not make it illegal to consume dog meat just yet but there is a lot of pressure from the Korean people on their government to ban it altogether. Most of the main slaughterhouses in South Korea have been closed by the government or are in the process of closing.

The stereotype in most western countries that all Asian people or Korean people eat dog or cat meat is racist and extremely offensive. Korean Americans have used lawsuits against public figures who mention this stereotype regarding South Korean cuisine. During the 2002 Winter Olympics, TV host Jay Leno joked that the South Korean skater Kim Dong-Sung would eat his dog. The MCIC Group filed a class-action lawsuit against Leno on behalf of 50,000 Korean Americans, demanding an apology and monetary damages.


The practice of eating dog meat was prevalent in many countries around the world for hundreds or even thousands of years. There has been evidence found of eating dogs in various places around the world from antiquity including western countries. It is not only relegated to Asia or Korea specifically. Most Korean people do not or never even have had dog meat. It is very taboo among most Koreans. Today it is largely an underground trade and any restaurants that once served it no longer do or have gone out of business. If you were to find it, it would be amongst very low-income areas and only eaten by the elderly who grew up eating dog meat soup, largely because of the Korean war that decimated the Korean peninsula and left a severe lack of proper food or protein to be found. Plunging many Korean people into extreme poverty.

This all comes down to Kim Basinger being an American judging what is a minor (and already disappearing) cultural tradition of another country. In India, cows are considered sacred and there are actually laws against slaughtering them. But I have yet to hear of Indians protesting US beef factories and hiding behind animal cruelty excuses. I’m not saying animal cruelty isn’t a problem, but if as a rich and privileged American, her main activism has been towards animals it means she does believe it’s the most important thing to fight for. The dog meat consumption in South Korea is more important for her than what could happen to American citizens. The only reason why we care more about dogs is because we are much more likely to spend time with dogs on a daily basis in the form of pets. But spend a significant amount of time with any kind of animal, and something tells me you’ll start to feel uncomfortable with eating them. There are still many cases of real animal cruelty here in the US as a result of our livestock industry.


Good God that was an exhausting read.

Left me thinking what's your beef with Basinger? Sure, it seems hypocritical, but that also seems a disproportionate amount of words for a post essentially saying Kim is a phony.

Could we suggest that this is no more noteworthy than the hypocrisy of a thousand Vegetarians and Vegans who continue to wear leather products and use leather accessories? I mean, we can make anyone look bad if we try really, really hard.

I actually think Kim's heart was in the right place, I doubt her support of animal rights organisations comes from a place of malice. Unlike this post.