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'Dancing with the Stars' replaced chimp with toddler after PETA protest


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/08/2009 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals apparently went bananas over a Dancing with the Stars segment that was supposed to feature an ape.

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Dancing with the Stars producers decided to replace the chimpanzee with a toddler as part of a segment during Tuesday night's live result show after PETA protested the planned use of the primate, Daily Variety reported Wednesday.

During Monday night's performance episode, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron teased that the upcoming results show would include a segment in which ESPN fantasy sports guru Matthew Berry, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and a chimpanzee would each handicapping the ninth-season's celebrity participants.

"That prompted PETA to contact executive producer Conrad Green first thing [Tuesday] morning with a plea that the chimp segment be canceled," PETA executive Dan Mathews told Variety.

Green subsequently notified PETA on Tuesday afternoon that it was removing the chimpanzee from the segment -- replacing it with a toddler.

"I do appreciate [PETA's] point that showing a chimpanzee on our show may indirectly lead to other chimpanzees being ill-treated in the future," Green wrote in an e-mail, according to Variety.

A spokesperson for Dancing with the Stars' BBC Worldwide production company added that the chimp-to-child switch had little to no impact on the segment.

"Conrad constantly makes last-minute editorial decisions [and] changes, and we are pleased with the result of the October 6 show," the spokesperson told Variety.

(Photo credit ABC)


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