INDIANAPOLIS - Actress Anjelica Huston is blasting Indianapolis-based Steak 'n Shake over a new TV ad.
The longtime animal activist is asking the chain to pull the ad, which features a chimpanzee, citing abuse and ill-treatment of great apes actors.
"These chimpanzees are destined to endure a lifetime of abuse for your 30-second spot -- a point that no compassionate person would find funny in the least," Huston wrote in a letter to the company.
"Innovative companies use animatronics or computer-generated imagery. You could easily adopt one of these methods or find another way to advertise your restaurants," she said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, alleges that chimp actors are often torn from their mothers as babies, violently trained and then left to languish in cramped cages after they grow too large to control.
Last year, Huston recorded a public service announcement for PETA urging Hollywood to refrain from using great apes in TV, movies and advertisements.
PETA officials said that the top 10 U.S. advertising agencies have implemented policies against using great apes in their ads, and that Great Clips and Pizza Factory have pulled ads featuring great apes.
Steak 'n Shake, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, is owned by Texas-based Biglari Holdings, Inc. A spokesman for Steak 'n Shake declined to give a comment.