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The B-52s Send Cease-and-Desist to Florida Circus Over Music in Elephant Act

Band pens open letter to Carson & Barnes Circus after “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” used in act

VANCOUVER, BC - AUGUST 30:  (L-R) Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson of The B-52s perform on stage during Summer NIght Concert Series at PNE Amphitheatre on August 30, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

The B-52s have issued a cease-and-desist letter to a Florida circus that used the band's music during the show's elephant act.

Andrew Chin/Getty

The B-52s have issued a cease-and-desist letter to a Florida circus that used the band’s music during the show’s elephant act.

PETA recently informed the B-52s that their “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” was used during the Carson & Barnes Circus in Kissimmee, Florida; PETA previously captured video of the circus’ “animal care director” abusing the elephants. As a result, the B-52s’ Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland penned an open letter to the owners of the Carson & Barnes Circus.

“We were alarmed when we learned from our friends at PETA that your ‘animal care director,’ Tim Frisco, used our songs during his Carson & Barnes act featuring three elephants in Kissimmee, Florida, recently,” the band wrote.

“We’ve seen the footage of Frisco cursing at elephants, shocking them with electric prods, and telling his trainers to drive bullhooks — heavy weapons with sharp steel tips — into their bodies and twist them until the animals scream in pain. We’re also aware of Carson & Barnes’ multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act for failing to provide animals with minimum space, protection from the weather, and necessities such as clean water and adequate veterinary care.”

The B-52s then listed some circuses that successfully eliminated their elephant acts and other circuses – including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus – that closed because “it wouldn’t change with the times.”

The band added, “We and our songs are all about freedom and fun—things that animals in the circus sadly never experience.”

The group also shared a video where Pierson and Wilson signed their cease-and-desist letter, as well as hidden camera footage of the elephants’ trainer smacking the animals with a prod.

“This man in the elephant act was caught on tape by PETA beating the elephants with bullhooks and jamming them with electric prods,” Pierson said. Wilson added, “This circus has had over 100 violations.”

When reached for comment, Jennifer Wisener, a spokesperson for the circus, told Rolling Stone, “After some investigation, we discovered that the songs in question were used during a performance under the control of another entertainment entity. Our elephants did participate in a circus performance that featured a Flintstone production. However, Carson & Barnes Circus had no control over the music selection that played during that performance.”

When asked to specify which “entertainment entity” she was referring to, Wisener responded, “Due to the music in question was not under the direction of Carson & Barnes Circus, it is not our place to comment any further regarding that matter.”

Read the B-52s’ Letter to Carson & Barnes Circus
  
We were alarmed when we learned from our friends at PETA that your “animal care director,” Tim Frisco, used our songs “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” during his Carson & Barnes act featuring three elephants in Kissimmee, Florida, recently. 
 
We’ve seen the footage of Frisco cursing at elephants, shocking them with electric prods, and telling his trainers to drive bullhooks—heavy weapons with sharp steel tips—into their bodies and twist them until the animals scream in pain. We’re also aware of Carson & Barnes’ multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act for failing to provide animals with minimum space, protection from the weather, and necessities such as clean water and adequate veterinary care.
 
Kelly Miller Circus, which once used elephants from your circus, is now animal-free. Stardust Circus recently dropped your elephant act, and Cole Bros. Circus—where Frisco was a trainer—stopped touring. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed down because it wouldn’t change with the times. Carson & Barnes should follow the lead of Kelly Miller, Circus Vargas, Cirque Italia, and all the other circuses that are thriving because they feature only willing human performers.
 
This letter shall serve as our demand that Carson & Barnes immediately cease and desist from any and all further use of any B-52s music in connection with any circus act or performance. Should you ignore this demand, we reserve the right to pursue all applicable legal remedies available to us.
 
We and our songs are all about freedom and fun—things that animals in the circus sadly never experience. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson, and Keith Strickland 
The B-52s

In This Article: The B-52's

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