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Thread: Animal rights group unhappy with figure skater Johnny Weir wearing fur

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Cool Animal rights group unhappy with figure skater Johnny Weir wearing fur

    Animal rights group unhappy with Weir wearing fur - Olympics - Yahoo! Sports

    CHICAGO (AP)—Friends of Animals posted an open letter to U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir criticizing him for having fox fur on one of his costumes and asking him to stop wearing fur.
    The animal advocacy group also contacted his costume designer, Stephanie Handler, on Tuesday.





    “I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it’s not something that’s the No. 1 priority in my life,” Weir said on Tuesday. “There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti.
    “I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it’s my choice.”
    Weir loves fashion, and his costumes tend to be on the avant-garde—some would say extreme—side. When the three-time U.S. champion redesigned his free skate costume before the U.S. champions, he had Handler add a tuft of white fox fur to the left shoulder.
    Weir said he thought the costume was “lovely,” but Friends of Animals disagreed. Foxes are electrocuted or beaten, and their pelts are obtained by skinning the animals alive, said Anai Rhoads, spokeswoman for the group.
    “He’s a role model for a lot of people, including other skaters,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. “When he makes fun of the suffering of animals that are consumed for this frivolous fashion industry and whose lives are sacrificed so he can wear little tufts of fur on his outfit, that’s fair game for comment.”
    Weir finished third at the U.S. champs, qualifying for his second Olympic team.
    Friends of Animals was not the first group to target Weir. He said he’s gotten letters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and people have sent him videos depicting how animals are treated by the fur industry.
    But Weir said this was the first time someone has contacted Handler.
    “She did what I asked her to. It wasn’t her choice to make me a costume with fur,” Weir said. “At least directly come to me and yell at me. Don’t attack my peeps.”
    Weir said he understands the groups’ objections, but he doesn’t share their point of view.
    Besides, he’s not the only skater wearing animal skin products.
    “Every skater is wearing skates made out of cow,” Weir said. “Maybe I’m wearing a cute little fox while everyone else is wearing cow, but we’re all still wearing animals.”

    Updated Jan 26, 10:11 pm EST

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    It's no secret here that I lurve me some Johnny Weir, but my little fangirl crush on him dims every time I read something about his love of fur.

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    Elite Member MsChiff's Avatar
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    That tiny little bit on one arm??? j/k
    Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Sending him to the cute bunny thread...

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Johnny Weir will wear faux fur at the Olympics following threats

    January 29, 2010, 2:30 pm

    Weir Says He Will Wear Fake Fur at Olympics
    By JULIET MACUR

    Yielding to pressure from animal rights groups, Johnny Weir, the three-time national figure skating champion, said he would tweak the costume he had planned to wear in his long program at the Olympics, replacing the outfit’s white fox fur with white faux fur.

    “I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust,” Weir said in a statement first published by icenetwork.com. “I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid.”


    Weir, 25, had worn the costume at nationals, where he bubbled over with excitement over wearing a fur-accented costume. The white tufts of fox fur sat on his left shoulder, looking like a long powder puff as he portrayed a fallen angel in his program. He had said that he did not care one bit what animal rights groups thought of his decision to wear the fur.

    Weir said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had been bugging him about his fur-wearing tendencies since the 2006 Olympics, sending him “nasty hate mail” and “videotapes of animals being skinned.”

    In response, Weir said, he would send the group an autographed photo, on which he would draw a chipmunk with X’s for eyes.

    “Don’t attack me for a personal choice,” he said at nationals. “There are soldiers dying all around the world. Choose your battles, don’t pick on mine.”

    But after nationals, Weir said, he and his costume designer received mail that caused them to rethink the decision to wear fur at the Olympic Games. At the 2006 Olympics Weir finished fourth.

    Tara Modlin, Weir’s agent, said that the animal rights group Friends of Animals had sent “some very scary, threatening e-mails.”

    “He was afraid for his personal safety at the Olympics and was scared that it would affect his performance there,” Modlin said, adding that PETA had been “very classy” in the way it communicated with Weir about the situation.

    Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, told The Associated Press that the group had not threatened Weir.

    The group had sent an open letter to Weir, criticizing his “love-affair with fur,” according to a post on the organization’s Web site. “The beautiful fox was likely anally electrocuted, or may have had its head bashed in, only to serve as decoration for someone’s performance,” the letter said.

    Regarding Weir’s decision to alter his costume, Feral told The A.P: “If he’s made the smart decision I hoped he’d make, to shun the skins of animals and not decorate his costumes with them, that’s a very good thing and I’m happy to hear it.”
    Weir Says He Will Wear Fake Fur at Olympics - Vancouver 2010 Blog - NYTimes.com

    I don't agree with wearing fur, but I also don't agree with the tactics these groups use to intimidate and threaten people into changing their stance.

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