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

January 5, 2010 |  3:09 pm

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

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