The common raccoon (genus: procyon)
The Moscow zoo, called Animals Are Not Toys, says it rented a raccoon named Thomas to a production company for a commercial shoot and was horrified later to learn that the raccoon was forced to film with a nude female model. The zoo now wants the offending advertisement pulled from the air and the raccoon to be compensated for suffering “moral damage”.
Production company “Art-Msk” rented Thomas for its bed linens commercial, which showed a topless blonde frolicking in bed with the raccoon. In one moment in the video, the raccoon grabs onto the model’s cloths. In another, the model uses the creature to cover her nude breasts.
The Moscow zoo is now claiming the footage is “improper” and “morally damaging” to Thomas as well as to Russia’s entire raccoon populace.
“Using animals in erotic advertisements is zoophilic,” the zoo’s press representative told a local newspaper, calling the commercial an act of bestiality.
The zoo also claims it didn’t know about the details of the planned shoot and were shocked upon seeing “behind the scenes” footage after it was posted online. The zoo claims it tried to reach out to “Art-Msk” but didn’t hear back from them — thus the lawsuit.
The claim demands an admission that featuring animals in “erotic” commercials is a violation of animal’s rights. The zoo also demands financial damages.
“Since the raccoon that was filmed in the commercial can’t defend himself, we are here to do that for him,” head of the zoo said.
Valeriy Bogatov from Art-Msk production called these allegations “absurd”. He pointed out that the commercial has not yet been finished and that the zoo was merely objecting to b-roll from behind the scenes.
“We would probably like to film erotic videos but the law on advertisements doesn’t let us do that,” he said.
Bogatov also claimed that “Art-Msk” were considering countersuing “Animals are not Toys” back, as the zoo’s objections have prevented “Art-Msk” from delivering the commercial to its client on time.