The 'Monster Problem' That PETA Has With Henry Cavill's The Witcher

Netflix’s Henry Cavill-led fantasy drama The Witcher recently dropped its highly-anticipated second season. While many fans were excited for the new episodes, there is one group that didn’t really care for it. Organization PETA apparently has a monster problem with the Netflix show.

PETA is an organization that supports animals and advocates for the treatment of them, trying to end animal cruelty. The group released a statement this week that condemns the show for using live animals rather than CGI. The organization also stated that because of this, audiences should not watch The Witcher and should instead watch projects involving strictly human actors:

Netflix’s The Witcher has a monster problem, in that producers apparently monstrously chose to exploit a live lemur and squirrel monkeys, among other animals, instead of using modern and humane computer-generated imagery. The entertainment industry typically prematurely separates these animals from their mothers and thwarts their instinctual needs to explore, choose mates, raise young, and forage, which is why kind audiences should skip The Witcher and instead toss a coin to the many films and shows that feature only willing human performers.

It appears someone within the organization is at least familiar with the show given the "toss a coin" reference. To note, there were a few episodes in The Witcher that featured live animals, and this is not the first time PETA has been unhappy about the use of live animals in TV productions. This is not the first time that the organization has taken aim at Hollywood, especially as of late. Last month, they condemned the release of Clifford the Big Red Dog despite the titular character being completely CGI, due to the other live animals that are included in the film.

Before that, PETA sent a message to Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling ahead of filming the highly-anticipated third installment of Legally Blonde asking they consider keeping dogs from commercial suppliers out of the movie. The animal rights organization is keeping tabs on Hollywood.

Despite any controversy with PETA, rest assured that The Witcher’s third season is still happening. Netflix announced the renewal in September and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich discussed how far along the team is on Season 3 and how excited she is. With the writing phase complete, it’s only a matter of time before production starts.

Whether or not the series will take PETA’s statement to heart is hard to tell. Plenty of shows feature live animals, but The Witcher does seem to have a safety focus on set, even giving Henry Cavill space while he was recovering from his own injury.

There is no telling when Season 3 of The Witcher will premiere, though it probably won’t be until late next year at the earliest. Fingers crossed that nothing controversial happens with the series between now and then, but I would not be surprised if we hear from PETA again before then. 

Season 2 of The Witcher is streaming now on Netflix. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 winter and spring schedule to see what other shows to look forward to in the new year. 

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.