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Fur-free, fabulous and fuming: White House objects to PETA's image of Michelle Obama in new anti-fur ad

Michelle Obama People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals certainly meant it as a compliment when the group called First Lady Michelle Obama "Fur-Free and Fabulous" in its latest ad campaign. But the group's intentions apparently don't matter much to the White House, which says Mrs. Obama's image was used by PETA without her permission. 

The ad, which features the first lady alongside Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks and Carrie Underwood -- all famous women who have refused to wear real fur -- was rolled out by PETA last week and can be seen, so far, at Washington, D.C.-area Metro stations and on the group's website. 

"By rejecting fur, these style icons demonstrate to the world that fur is old-fashioned and cruel," PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews said by way of an introduction for the new ad campaign. PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told the Associated Press that the group wouldn't have attempted to get Mrs. Obama's consent to use her image because it knows she would be unable to make such an endorsement.

PETA and its followers (including, notably and strangely, the singer Pink) have publicly lauded the first lady in the past for her anti-fur stance.  Mrs. Obama's deputy press secretary confirmed to the Washington Times that the first lady was fur-free after French first lady Carla Bruni made a similar announcement last summer. 

RELATED POSTS:
Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres named PETA's people of the year for 2009
PETA to Pope Benedict XVI: Veganize the Vatican

OTHER L.A. TIMES STORIES:
Photo Gallery: First Lady Michelle Obama's fashion

Michelle Obama's fashion tour de force

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: PETA's new ad featuring Mrs. Obama.  Credit: Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (11)

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Great alibi for using the image of the First Lady in a branded campaign w/o permission--she wouldn't have given us permission, so we didn't ask for it!

Your honor, the defense rests.

Why does the media give credence to PETA, an organization that, according to the Department of Homeland Security, has provided material support to the domestic terrorist organization (Animal Liberation Front)?

When PETA members sign a pledge to never take medications or avail themselves of surgical or diagnostic techniques that were developed using animals, I may pay some attention to their misguided attacks on medical research. Then again, I may not.

Everything is so simple when you're a true-believing fundamentalist.

PETA is merely a distraction to make HSUS look sincere.
HSUS is PETA in a Brooks Bros suit.

PETA's reputation has been tarnished because the message does not ring true. PETA does NOT have the first lady's permisson. I think the White House should sue PETA and NOT let them get away with this!

Another BRILLIANT anti-fur ad from PETA. Michelle Obama should think twice before she excoriates PETA for promoting
compassion which includes those who cannot speak for themselves.

why making such a fuss about using this ad/picture of Michelle Obama, with or without a White House permission? On the contrary, it would be to the credit of America's First Lady, if she made a clear and loud anti-fur statement... remember : fur coats are worn by beautiful animals and ugly people!

Anybody notice that it appears that Oprah is wearing a LEATHER skirt in this ad? I guess some animals are more equal than others, eh?

Once again someone has shown up, using the apparently humorous name of "animal lover" and seized the opportunity to smear humane organizations in general.


The Humane Society of the U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with this story, so why is someone libeling them here? It should come as no shock to readers of this blog that there are people who make it their mission to try to obscure the facts whenever a story appears online that discusses humane treatment of animals. It serves their purposes to make it seem as if all humane organizations are the same, they all have ridiculous, anti-mainstream aims (like not mistreating animals?) and therefore they all lack credibility.


There are legitimate objections to some of HSUS' current stances. Personally, I'm not renewing my membership with them until they dump Michael Vick and come clean about the true extent of his crimes, which they absolutely have not. But HSUS has nothing to do with a PETA campaign. There's no point in lying about such things; all it does is reveal your lack of honesty.


I'm not a huge PETA fan either, but it really is wonderful to see such a mainstream figure as the First Lady rejecting fur as cruel. Fur IS cruel, and I'm glad major cultural and entertainment figures are recognizing that.

It is very sad that the white hse appears not to want to support animal rights. i don't like Obama anyway because he eats frogs' legs and goose liver pate

Thank you Katherine and Meriem for making sense. I think if they would have asked her (and I'm still not positive they didn't) she would have been glad to participate. My only problem with the picture is why Oprah was plastered in front of the First Lady, what was that all about? >{


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