Zac Efron has garnered backlash from PETA after he starred in a few ads along with a captive bear in collaboration with Kodiak Cakes.
The brand is known for having a bear on the front of its products, and in the short advertisements, a real bear is seen with the 34-year-old High School Music alum.
Profits made from the actor’s promotion of the company’s Keep It Wild merchandise goes to the Vital Ground Foundation, to help bears and other wildlife, reported TMZ. However, PETA calls the action, ‘hypocritical.’
Backlash: Zac Efron, 34, has received backlash from PETA from filming advertisements with a captive bear
According to TMZ, PETA released a statement following the airing of the ads to condemn the use of Tank, the 27-year-old captive bear.
The bear was allegedly taken from its breeder when he was barely six weeks old, and even appeared on the series, Man Vs. Bear.
‘It’s hypocritical to exploit one animal to potentially help another,’ the statement read. ‘No true conservation group would force captive animals to perform tricks for the camera in order to raise awareness about their wild counterparts.’
In one of the short ads, Zac could be seen making Kodiak pancakes while talking to the bear out in the wilderness. Tank humorously reacts to the the actor and at the end, a jumbo plate of pancakes is given to the bear.
Advertisement: The short ad was meant to promote and showcase Kodiak cakes, with the actor partnering with the brand to raise funds for a wildlife charity
Zac shared the video ad on his Instagram page, typing in the caption, ‘Excited to announce I’ve joined @kodiakcaskes board of directors as Chief Brand Officer.’
‘I love this brand, their products and most of all their mission. I believe we can make a huge impact together,’ the Baywatch star added.
In another recent post uploaded onto his main page, the talented actor was seen wearing Keep It Wild merchandise from Kodiak Cakes. He explained that all of the profits and proceeds made, ‘go to preserving Grizzly Bear and wildlife habitats.’
Collaboration: The profits made from the Kodiak Cakes Keep It Wild merchandise goes to helping bears and wildlife habitats, which PETA called a ‘hypocritical’ action
Working together: Earlier in June, Zac announced that he was partnering up with the brand as the Chief Brand Officer
Debbie Metzler, PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare, didn’t think too highly of the collaboration, reported TMZ.
‘How wrong is it to use a captive bear to promote ‘keeping bears wild?’ she asked.
The nonprofit organization has called for not only Zac to question if he should continue to partner with the brand, but for Kodiak Cakes to use a CGI bear instead of a captive animal, or even completely remove the ads.
The Greatest Showman actor hasn’t spoken out to PETA after the nonprofit’s blast, nor has Kodiak Cakes.
Called to an end: PETA asked that the ads be removed or replace Tank the bear with a CGI bear instead
No public statement: Following PETA’s statement, the High School Musical alum has yet speak out
Throwback: Zac recently shared a post on his Instagram page of him stepping back to the roots of Disney’s High School Musical