Felines Protest Idris Elba’s Lion Thriller ‘Beast’: ‘Stop Stereotyping Us Cats!’

LOS ANGELES — Marching in a broad circle outside the Universal Studios headquarters on Monday, a group of about 200 cats demanded “more cuddly representation” in television and film.

The felid contingent included house cats, pumas, bobcats, tigers, lions, leopards and even a few jaguars, each holding signs with messages like “Cats are more than claws!” and “Stop The Stereotyping!”

“What do we want?” a house cat shouted into a megaphone.

“Cuddlier representation!” the crowd of cats shouted.

“When do we want it!”

“After our nap!” they replied in unison.

Monday’s protest was prompted by Universal Studios’ 2022 thriller, Beast, but protest organizer Buddy the Cat said the felid group was protesting “decades of tropes and injustices committed against cats by Hollywood and TV.” Examples include the undead cat in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, the rampaging lion in Dutch horror-comedy film Prey (called Uncaged in the US), the many murderous felids in the CBS series Zoo, and Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell.

“We’re tired of always being cast as villains while dogs are the heroes. Take a cat like me, for instance,” Buddy told a reporter. “It’s easy to mistake me, with my razor sharp claws and ripped physique, for a threat to humans. But really I’m just a cuddly little guy who likes chin scratches.”


Linus, a 14-year-old Bengal tiger who starred as Richard Parker in the 2012 hit Life of Pi, said he was a young actor who didn’t know better when he agreed to portray the threatening antagonist.

“Now that I’m older and I have all this Frosted Flakes money coming in, I can be picky about the roles I accept and only choose movies I think will be Grrreat!” he told an interviewer. “But what about the next young tiger, or the jaguar fresh off the boat from the Amazon, who doesn’t have the power to tell the director a certain scene is offensive?”

Linus also took issue with the script, in which the writers have him refusing to share fish with Pi.

“Did you see the boat? It was filled with fish! What am I, some sort of glutton who’s gonna eat 200 pounds of fish while the human starves?” Linus asked, bewildered. “I mean, according to Hollywood we’re angry, dangerous, murderous criminals and we stuff our faces all the time. No wonder people are scared of us!”

Prey, also known as Uncaged, depicts an angry lion rampaging through Amsterdam and eating pretty much everyone.

Beast stars British actor Idris Elba and tells the story of a widowed medical doctor who takes his two daughters to South Africa, where they stay with a family friend and embark on a tour of the native wildlife.

Unbeknownst to them, an adult male lion is on a rampage after a team of poachers entered the reserve the previous night and slaughtered his entire pride. While Elba’s character, his two daughters and his friend (Sharlto Copley) explore the reserve, they discover the mutilated remains of an entire village’s population and eventually come face to face with the murderous lion.

“What’s all this barney, then?” Elba said when asked about the felid protest. “Well that’s unfortunate, innit, mate? I played a tiger in The Jungle Book, a proper tiger. I love cats.”

The actor, who rocketed to fame off the strength of his portrayals of Stringer Bell in American police drama The Wire, the title character in British detective thriller Luther, as well as major roles in franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Trek reboot movies and science fiction action-adventure Pacific Rim, said he’s taken the cat’s criticism to heart.

“Buddy’s a good bloke,” says Elba, pictured with his feline friend.

“Me and me mate Buddy, we like to grab a pint on the regular, d’ya know what I mean?” Elba said. “This tosh with the movies, it’s gotta stop. Me mate Buddy is a good bloke, innit? So if he says Hollywood has to have more positive portrayal of cats, then that’s what we’ll do.”

In addition to their negative portrayal in films, which felids likened to the offensive portrayal of Italian-Americans as mafia figures, many cats cried foul at the idea that one of their kind would harm the beloved South African actor Sharlto Copley.

“That’s a very offensive portrayal,” said Chonkmatic the Magnificent, King of All Cats. “Sharlto Copley is the guy who made District 9, about aliens who eat cat food. Everyone knows cats love District 9. We wouldn’t lay a claw on Sharlto!”


12 thoughts on “Felines Protest Idris Elba’s Lion Thriller ‘Beast’: ‘Stop Stereotyping Us Cats!’”

  1. It would be far better if Idris (a cool Brit) teamed up with the lion and went after the hunters and slaughtered them horribly. That film I would definitely go and see

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Next season on Luther he can team up with his mate Buddy and fight the poachers. If lions and leopards aren’t enough to scare off poachers, surely London’s greatest detective and America’s most meowscular cat will give them pause.

      I can picture it: Luther dumps turkey fat on the poachers, a high-pitched battle cry sounds from the shadows, and Buddy comes bounding out, menacing claws outstretched…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this, Big Buddy. While I can get behind big cats killing poachers, I can’t watch when the same big cats are hurt and slaughtered. Yes, they’re animated menaces, and yes, they kill poachers.
    Have you and Buddy ever watched “The Ghost and the Darkness”? The movie’s based on real lions that terrorized the Tsavo railroad workers.
    Oh, and Jason Momoa will appear as Kraven the Hunter in an upcoming Marvel movie. He’s not a lion, but his vest is made of a lion’s head skin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen the film, but I understand the Tsavo lions were a coalition and that at least one of them had broken teeth like the Champawat tigress, which led to hunting humans. Bud and I will have to check out the movie.

      I’m disappointed to hear Khal Drogo is going to wear a lion head. I got sick of Marvel about 10 years ago. How many movies can they make about adults in tights grunting risibly while shooting sparkly light out of their fingers?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, one of the Tsavo lion suffered from a dental abscess. A Wiki article states that analysis of the lions bones indicate they didn’t subsist on humans, they also ate wild life. It seems they became used to picking up humans on a route used by slave traders.
        The film is a funny mix of excitement and almost camp acting by Michael Douglas. An interesting bit of trivia is the star of the 1986 Shaka Zulu series, Henry Cele, played one of the lions victims. The scene is VERY impressive!
        I was disappointed by Jason’s casting, too. But to be honest, I lost interest in Marvel/DC movies a long time ago.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “When do we want it?”
    “After our nap!”
    Very funny, very enjoyable reporting. Little Buddy has beautiful fur as well as beautiful eyes. 💟

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jean. I don’t endorse any particular cat food on the blog, but I have noticed that Bud’s fur looks and feels great when I feed him Blue Buffalo dry in addition to his regular wet food. YMMV, every cat is different, and I rarely buy Blue’s wet food because it’s so expensive, but he gets a bowl of Blue kibble, usually the Wilderness high protein variety, before bed every night. That’s his late night snack, and I leave enough in the bowl so that he can just pad over and help himself if he gets hungry overnight so he doesn’t have to wake me up.

      If you missed it, you can see Buddy in his video debut in the post from last week about “Sir David Cattenborough” narrating a documentary about Buddy. (If you scroll down, it’s the second of the two Cattenborough posts. The first one was just an announcement of its impending premiere.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mee-yow wee watched “Lif of Pi” an wee thott Tiger aka Linuss wuud not keep all THE fish…
    Hollywood can REELLY due stereo-typess an take then too far……
    Wee are sorry this happenss.
    AS fore “Prey” movie….if a African Lion had his pride killed an hee went cray-cray it wuud not bee sirprizin! How wuud a Hu’man feel if his or her ‘pride’ were wiped out by Poacherss/Killerss’???
    This movie iss like “Cocaine Bear”….shuud have been banned beefore it was started!
    Just mee-yowin Buddy an Big Buddy…what due youss’ think?
    ***growlss quietlee*** BellaDharma an **scowlss** BellaSita Mum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prey/Uncaged is a dark comedy for people with a warped sense of humor and I found it amusing. At one point the lion boards a bus. The camera shows a little girl in a stroller with a big smile on her face as she points and says “Kitty cat!” Then the camera cuts to an exterior shot of the bus as you hear people screaming, sounds of the lion disemboweling them, and see the bus shaking as blood splatters on the windows.

      The whole movie is bonkers. I’m pretty sure they changed the title to “Uncaged” in the US release to avoid confusion with “Prey” the recent Predator franchise movie, which was pretty damn good.

      Zoo takes a similar approach in its first few episodes with lions terrorizing people, but it tries to be serious and there’s none of the campy fun of Uncaged/Prey, although there is an unintentionally funny scene in which a huge gathering of domestic cats is supposed to be menacing.

      Liked by 1 person

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