Golden Globes: Don't Honor "The Greatest Showman" for Romanticizing PT Barnum's Animal Cruelty

  • by: Care2 Team
  • target: Hollywood Foreign Press Association
According to its website, "The Greatest Showman" is a musical that "celebrates the birth of show business." In reality, the movie, starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, celebrates a man responsible for launching over 100 years of animal cruelty in circuses, while ignoring many details of P.T. Barnum's controversial history. 

Despite these grave omissions, the film has been nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture under the Musical and Comedy category. Please sign this petition urging the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to not honor "The Greatest Showman" or Hugh Jackman with these awards.

As the man who essentially founded animal exploitation in circuses, Barnum reportedly chartered a ship in order to capture and transport nine elephants from Sri Lanka. The elephants were confined in a cramped compartment, without fresh air or room to take a single step. One elephant died on the ship. Once captive, Barnum's circus employed bullhooks and hot pokers as handling methods in order to intimidate elephants into submission.

Barnum's cruelty wasn't just reserved for animals — he was just as heartless towards many humans. He repeatedly exploited African Americans and people with disabilities for profit, forcing them to degrade themselves in the process. And despite slavery having already been abolished in New York, Barnum bought an African American woman and treated her as his slave, forcing her to perform without receiving any of the profit.

"The Greatest Showman" romanticizes a heartless man, ignoring how he exploited both animals and humans. Please sign this petition urging the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to not bestow the Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture awards to this film or to Hugh Jackman.
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