For Immediate Release:
1 October 2015
Bill Maher Among Honorees at Humanitarian Awards Show Hosted by Anjelica Huston and Pamela Anderson
Los Angeles – Sir Paul McCartney – joined by Beck – performed for a sell-out, star-studded crowd Wednesday night at PETA US’ 35th anniversary gala at the Hollywood Palladium, and Bollywood’s Sunny Leone and her husband and musician Daniel Weber were among the esteemed guests. The concert followed a humanitarian awards show hosted by Anjelica Huston and Pamela Anderson. Bill Maher, Jason Biggs, Tommy Lee, James Cromwell, Alicia Silverstone, Noah Cyrus,Kate del Castilloand Jillian Michaels accepted awards for helping PETA US halt cruel animal experiments, sink marine mammal theme park SeaWorld and pressure Ringling Bros. circus to retire its elephants.
Joaquin Phoenix and his family presented the first-ever River Phoenix Humanitarian Award to Earthlings filmmaker Shaun Monson, while rapper RZA and actor Maggie Q were honored for their vegan campaigns.
Among the other guests who enjoyed a gourmet vegan dinner were Kesha, William H Macy, Nat Wolff, Bellamy Young, George Lopez, Seth Green, Emily Deschanel, Rob Zombie, Tig Notaro, Moby, Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon.
While accepting his award, RZA said, “It’s an award that does not aim to reflect my art—it instead reflects my heart”.
Said James Cromwell, “Those who have no voice, no vote, no clout could not have a better champion. When push comes to shove, my money’s always on PETA!”
Jason Biggs thanked an unlikely source in his acceptance speech – SeaWorld: “Thank you, SeaWorld. Without you, those gorgeous orcas would be free to swim with their families in the oceans they belong in. Instead, they are jailed in your horrible excuses for theme parks, and as a result, I get to stand up here accepting this award”.
After accepting his humanitarian award, Bill Maher helped close the awards ceremony with a call for support for PETA US, saying, “You want to see change in the world? PETA’s the group that can do it. They’ve been doing it for 35 years. … [Ingrid Newkirk] and her unbelievably dedicated staff of free-thinking, envelope-pushing, ass-kicking activists are getting the job done. … They’re fighting billion-dollar industries that use every dirty trick in the book to try to stop them so they can go right on killing and exploiting animals”.
During his exclusive concert, McCartney told the audience, “When I first heard the name, that’s what appealed to me, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I thought that was really a very dignified, very cool title. They’ve got 35 years of saving so many animals. And we love them”. He performed a number of hits, including “Let It Be”, “Hey Jude”, “Lady Madonna”, “Drive My Car” (performed with Beck) and an animal rights–themed song that he wrote called “Looking for Changes”.
In 35 years, PETA US – whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way” – has grown from a handful of volunteers into the world’s largest animal rights organisation, with more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide. PETA India is an affiliate of PETA US. For more information, please visit PETA.org.