Sega removed from its website advertisements for Wii rhythm game Samba de Amigo
after receiving complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in regards to using "involuntary chimpanzee actors."
Released stateside in late September, Samba de Amigo
stars a maraca-wielding monkey named Amigo. Sega's online videos showed families playing the Gearbox-developed game while a real chimpanzee played maracas and breakdanced, to the delight of on-screen children.
PETA contacted Sega to chastise the company's decision to use an actual primate in its advertisements. Sega responded by pulling the commercials and pledging never to use real chimpanzees in its future ads.
"We explained how involuntary chimpanzee 'actors' are taken away from their mothers when they are just a year or so old and forced to perform confusing and repetitious tricks," says PETA in a blog post
describing its exchange with Sega and promising to send the publisher a thank-you card along with vegan, monkey-shaped chocolates.
The illustrative post continues, "We also explained some of the horrible methods that chimpanzee 'trainers' use, such as electric shocks with shock collars and prods, isolation, beatings with sawed-off pool cues and slapjacks, and food deprivation. Then, at the ripe old age of just 8, the chimpanzees reach puberty and their showbiz careers are over—and they end up being dumped at dismal roadside zoos or sold to laboratories for experimentation."