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Alec Baldwin, PETA send letter demanding Radio City Music Hall stop using live animals in Christmas show

In partnership with the animal rights activist group PETA, actor Alec Baldwin sent a letter to the people in charge of Radio City Music Hall’s “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” show, demanding that the production stop using live animals in the production.

Sent to James L. Dolan, CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG), the group that owns the legendary New York City entertainment venue, the letter expressed Baldwin’s disappointment that the show still uses live animals in its nativity scene. 

He said, “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.” 

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Baldwin, who has previously done advocacy work for the group, added in the letter, “Holiday displays and productions are anything but merry for animals who are often deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them.”

The actor noted that the conditions they are put in for the shows and others like it, are alarming for the animals, which he claimed “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,” he added. 

Baldwin then targeted the venue’s association with the company that formerly provided its live animals. 

“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,” he said.

He declared, “No production should want to be associated with such cruelty.”

However, a local New York outlet reported that an employee familiar with the production denied that the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” employs the Dawn Animal Agency.

The Golden Globe-winning actor’s letter went on to note that other iconic New York stage productions have found creative ways to portray animals without using live ones. 

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He said, “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.”

Baldwin noted that getting rid of the animals “would bring it into the modern era and truly align it with the Christmas spirit.” He concluded with the request, “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.” 

Though in an email shared with the outlet, an MSG Entertainment rep assured Baldwin and others concerned that “the safety of the animals in the Christmas Spectacular’s beloved ‘Living Nativity’ scene is always our priority.”

“Their well-being is critical, and they are provided with exceptional round-the-clock care throughout the show’s limited run,” he added. 

A press release from PETA announced that in protest of the animals in the show, “PETA members dressed as elves will dump wheelbarrows full of coal on Radio City Music Hall’s doorstep” on Dec. 21. 

The group added their display would “illustrate that the Christmas Spectacular will stay on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list until it evolves with the times and goes animal-free. 

An MSG Entertainment spokesperson provided Fox News Digital the following statement:

“Mr. Baldwin is incorrect in his assumptions. The safety of the animals in the Christmas Spectacular’s beloved ‘Living Nativity’ scene is always our priority. Their well-being is critical, and they are provided with exceptional round-the-clock care throughout the show’s limited run.”

 

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