Katy Perry has come under fire from an Oscar-nominated wildlife documentary maker for using a captured elephant in her new Roar video.
Chris Palmer, who received his Academy Awards nod for the acclaimed 2000 short film Dolphins, has documented the life of Perry's huge co-star in a New York Daily News article, revealing the creature's alleged back story, claiming she was once a free beast roaming the plains of Zimbabwe.
He writes, "How did Suzy, a member of a threatened species from Africa, find herself next to Katy Perry on a California (film) set? She was violently captured from her free-roaming herd in Zimbabwe when she was 2 years old and shipped to the U.S., where she was most likely bound and beaten in order to make her perform without complaint."
In the op-ed, Palmer reveals the routine abuse and deprivation that elephants and other exotic animals face behind the scenes - and places the blame for this abuse on unwitting stars, directors and producers, who demand elephants for music videos, movies, photo shoots and publicity stunts.
He adds, "Only when stars, directors and producers stop forcing exotic animals onto soundstages will these sensitive and sophisticated animals get a reprieve. Katy Perry may be one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but next to that sad elephant, she looks like a very small person."
Calling Suzy Perry's "reluctant elephant co-star", Palmer adds, "Elephants don't like loud noises, bright lights or hectic sets with dozens of people running around. As an Emmy-winning wildlife documentarian who has spent decades producing nature features for Imax, Animal Planet and the Disney Channel, I am among many filmmakers who film animals only in their natural habitat."
Perry has responded with a letter from the American Humane Association, in which organisation representatives declare that no animal was harmed on the set of the video, prompting animal rights activists at Peta to remind her that Aha officials don't monitor cruel capture and training methods.