Animal activists and scientists say folks who dress up chimps to appear in TV shows and movies are a bunch of chumps.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (search) has launched a campaign to get chimps and other great apes out of the limelight and back to the jungles.
"Most people do not know that the chimpanzee 'grin' so often seen in movies and on TV is actually a grimace of fear or a carefully choreographed response to a command," say PETA officials.
They are urging viewers to boycott movies or turn off TV shows that feature the animals and are urging the entertainment industry to use computer-animated chimps instead.
Primatologists at the Jane Goodall Institute (search) agree with PETA.
"We would love to see chimps not used in entertainment, unless it's in documentaries in their natural habitat," a spokeswoman for the prestigious primate institute said yesterday.
Jane Goodall (search), one of the most well-known advocates for chimpanzees in the world, has long opposed the use of great apes in entertainment. She has explained that performing chimps are taken from their mothers when they are infants, a tragedy she says, because in the wild the young stay with their parents for around eight years.