"I'm allergic to horses, I get an asthma attack, so I don't go near horses. I went into a circus one time, I didn't even see any horses and I started to lose my airway." Barbra Streisand has to steer clear of the mammals.
"I’m not interested in causing more trouble than I already am, and neither am I interested in making a circus of the sacraments. I’m a singer. Music is my thing." Sinead O'Connor insists she's no longer interested in making headlines as an ordained priest.
Actress and animal rights activist Jenna Fischer has penned an open letter to Indiana State Fair officials, urging them to put a stop to controversial elephant rides. The Office star has teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaigners to condemn the fair attraction provided by bosses at Carson & Barnes Circus, insisting the elephants often perform out of fear of punishment, and they could pose a threat to young kids if they lash out in frustration.
In her letter, the Indiana native also draws attention to the harsh methods used to tame the elephants, claiming Carson & Barnes trainers still use sharp bullhooks to poke, prod and strike elephants on their skin to force them to learn circus tricks.
She writes, "I understand that at first glance, the rides might seem innocuous, but the reality is that all too often these animals are subjected to extremely abusive training - they are beaten with metal bullhooks on the most sensitive parts of their bodies and shocked with electric prods until they lose the will to fight back..."
Fischer, a mother-of-two, admits she had no idea how badly circus elephants were treated before she did her own research, and now she is hoping to open fair organisers' eyes to the horrors of the abuse and encourage them to scrap the rides before the event wraps up on 17 August (14).
She adds, "Offering elephant rides is promoting animal abuse, even if we aren't the ones swinging the bullhook or restricting the elephants' movements with chains. I, along with PETA, kindly ask that you cancel the elephant rides now and keep them out of your lineup in the future... It would make me proud to know that the state where I was born had taken a stand for animal protection."
Fischer isn't the first celebrity to take a stand against elephant cruelty - Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Kesha and Joan Jett have all voiced their disdain over the continued use of bullhooks in the circus industry.
Even Kendall Jenner has to admit that the Kardashian name is not always taken seriously. The young model spoke to The Cut and said that she has specifically asked big sister Kim Kardashian to stay away from some of her runway shows. The media circus that comes along with the reality star is not always conducive to a high fashion career.
"I was like, 'You know what? I want to be high fashion. I want to be taken seriously..."
Jenner goes on to say that people assume her family ties made it easy for her career to take off, but the truth is that she had to work hard (even harder than other models, she argues) to get many in the fashion industry to work with her.
Whatever she's doing, it's working. Jenner just covered Love Magazine, and recently became the new face of Givenchy.
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Animal rights activists at Peta are urging Disney bosses to change the ending of their new version of classic elephant tale Dumbo, so the titular character escapes the circus and lives out his life at a sanctuary. The movie studio executives are developing a live-action remake of the beloved 1941 animated film, and they've pledged not to use real animals in the movie, but PETA officials want them to go one step further - and rewrite the project's finale.
In the original Disney film, Dumbo becomes a star attraction at the circus after discovering he can use his huge ears to fly.
PETA spokesperson Moira Colley tells WENN, "Walt Disney Pictures has already pledged that its new version of Dumbo will use advanced computer graphics, and not a suffering captive elephant, to portray its title character, and PETA, whose motto says, in part, that 'animals are not ours to use for entertainment', has another suggestion for the film - in addition to staying true to Dumbo's honest depiction of how animals suffer in the circus, why not change the ending so that Dumbo escapes to an elephant sanctuary?"
PETA boss Merrilee Burke has written to Tendo Nagenda, Disney's vice president of production, urging him to give Dumbo a "real happy ending, allowing him to escape the world of forced entertainment and finally be free".
She writes, "Dumbo gets a lot right about the way that elephants in circuses are treated. Just as in the original film, elephants in circuses are still forcibly separated from the mothers they would stay with in nature for many years or for life. They are forced to travel for days, chained in cramped conditions inside railroad boxcars, and they are beaten, shackled, and forced to perform tricks that are frightening, unnatural, and sometimes painful to them.
"These wise, sensitive animals show signs of severe stress and deprivation, such as swaying back and forth, the way that Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo do (in the film). Once in a while, they snap and go on dangerous rampages, just as is depicted in the film."
Rocker Tom Petty has never listened to the his soundtrack for Ed Burns' 1996 movie She's The One because he insists every track is "crummy" and "terrible". The Free Fallin' hitmaker composed the music for the film, using largely unused tracks and ideas from his 1994 album Wildflowers, and he still regrets agreeing to hit the studio for the movie.
He tells Men's Journal magazine, "I hated that record - the whole idea of it offended me. I only did it because I didn't have anything else to do. I was single and living on my own, and this idea came up, and I liked Ed and thought he was pretty sharp, so I wrote him a couple of songs. And then it just kept mushrooming into, 'Do the whole thing'.
"So I took some stuff I hadn't used in Wildflowers, really crummy versions, badly mixed, and put them on there. It was terrible, really. I'm disappointed I did that."
But he did briefly enjoy recording the album's catchy opening track, Walls (Circus), with Fleetwood Mac star Lindsey Buckingham, adding, "I do remember trying to talk Lindsey into joining the band (Heartbreakers) that night. I said, 'Why don't you just join our band and take the heat off of me?'"
Jennifer Aniston's actor fiance Justin Theroux once worked as a snow cone vendor at a circus in Japan. The Wanderlust star jetted off to Tokyo with a friend in order to find a summer job that would help him pay for his college tuition and found himself serving icy refreshments outside a Ringling Brothers big top.
He explains, "The circus was in town and I ended up getting a job with the circus sort of as an assistant managerial position in selling snow cones.
"I can (still) sell snow cones in Japanese."
Nikki Nelson / WENN
Actor Ben Stein has compared his alleged 'sexting' scandal to "an episode of Monty Python" after a woman accused him of pestering her for saucy snaps.
The Ferris Bueller's Day Off star admits he met Tanya Ma, 24, at an airport in California earlier this year (14) and stayed in touch with her, but he has dismissed her claims that he took the relationship too far.
Ma, who is a performance artist, told the New York Post, "He said he'd read my blog, and I gave him my contact information. We texted for about four months, then he asked me to send him pictures... After a while, he started asking for more racy photos... (Then) he wanted to place me in a hotel near where he lives... It just started to get weird."
However, the married actor is adamant Ma's allegations are not true. He compares the story to an episode of comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, and adds, "She is a person I have only met for less than five minutes at an airport. I have never touched her, I have never had any sexual contact with her."
"I should get a medal for helping this woman. This is a person who appealed to me for money. She said she would send me some examples of her performance art. Some of those examples were racy, and some were not. I just don't get what I have done wrong. She is mad at me because she wanted more money... I didn't expect anything from her."
Actor Neil Patrick Harris has landed a role in the new American Horror Story series after writing to creator Ryan Murphy and asking for a part.
The former How I Met Your Mother star, who is currently starring on Broadway in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, recently told Entertainment Weekly Radio that he had penned a request note to Murphy, suggesting himself for upcoming series, Freak Show.
He said, "I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I can be in it, even though I wasn't even available to be in it. To do one that involves any kind of freak, circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch."
Murphy caught wind of the radio chat and has since responded to Harris via Twitter, writing, "@ActuallyNPH of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you'd love."
Harris previously worked with Murphy in an episode of Glee, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Whether they're battling for survival, the planet, or just the God-given right to boogie down at the local country club, man and nature have always been at each others throats at the movies. Across the cinematic landscape, a great many battles have been waged between humans and animals, and as viewers, our sympathies often shift between the species. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters tomorrow, here are our favorite man versus animal films, and who we side with in each expedition.
The GreyWhat's it about? After crash-landing in the Alaskan wilderness, a group of men must survive the elements and a pack of feral wolves.What are the humans fighting for? Surviving 'til the end credits.What are the animals fighting for? Tasty chunks of Liam Neeson.Who do we root for? Once Neeson strapped those tiny booze bottles to his knuckles, we were firmly on team Liam.
The BirdsWhat's it about? Swarms of birds begin attacking a sleepy California town.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety, clean cars.What are the animals fighting for? It's never explained, but we're guessing tastier bread crumbs.Who do we root for? The birds... hey, it's a Hitchcock movie, so we just root for mayhem.
Once Upon a Forest What's it about? Three young forest animals try to save a friend, who is wounded by chlorine gas from a human truck accident. What are the humans fighting for? Nothing in particular. What are the animals fighting for? Survival, their friend, their home. Who do we root for? Since the humans accidentally orphan a tiny woodland creature, it's obvious we're rooting for the animals.
CaddyshackWhat's it about? Bill Murray tries to kill a pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club.What are the humans fighting for? The golf course, their sanity.What is the animal fighting for? The gopher just wants to cause as much chaos as possible and dance like crazy.Who do we root for? Definitely the gopher. He's all right. Don't gotta worry 'bout him.
How to Train Your DragonWhat's it about? On the Island of Berk, a young boy befriends a dragon in the midst of a human/dragon feud.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety and their livestock.What are the animals are fighting for? Sheep. Freedom. Mostly sheep.Who do we root for? The dragons, obviously. Vikings are cool, but... c'mon. Dragons.
JawsWhat's it about?: Three men try to take down a gigantic shark that's been terrorizing a beach town.What are the humans are fighting for? Survival, pride, and shark teeth to sell to tourists.What is the animal is fighting for? The right to eat silly beach-goers.Who do we root for? After all that male bonding, how could we not root for Richard Dreyfuss and co?
King Kong What's it about?: A mythical gigantic ape is captured and forced to move to New York City. What are the humans are fighting for?: Money, fame, a dangerous circus exhibit that will totally never backfire.What is the animal fighting for? Freedom, his human woman, a chance to see that Empire State Building that everyone's been talking about. Who do we root for? King Kong, because no one should be forced to live in Midtown.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesWhat's it about? James Franco starts humanity down the slippery slope of extinction by making apes really smart.What are the humans fighting for?: Some for tyranny, some for survival.What are the animals fighting for?: Respect, dominance, way more bananas.Who we rooted for: The writing is on the wall. Let's embrace our ape overlords.