Murphy: When Art Copies Life via PETA

January 17, 2018 01:00 PM
Our pals at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals love to showcase celebrities. It’s the activists’ PR equivalent of politicians kissing babies — and often just as shallow and phony.

Without question, we live in an era when politicians, celebrities and activists float along on a media-stoked river of pure hypocrisy.

It’s deplorable, but unfortunately, ubiquitous.

Take our friends at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Please . . . [drum sting].

They never fail to expose the sheer chutzpah behind their oh-so-righteous position on the animal kingdom, simultaneously espousing an abhorrence of animal husbandry, meat-eating or anything they define as exploitation of the world’s fauna, while at the same time celebrating the joys of keeping dogs or cats as pets.

Pets who, presumably, must conform to a never-eat-meat, never-chase-mice and never-explore-a-leftover-turkey-dinner-in-a-garbage-can vegan lifestyle.

Not that we need to go overseas to catalog egregious examples of such hypocrisy, but the latest Exhibit A in that endless stream of evidence comes courtesy of, a website that styles itself as providing “The latest news from Pakistan, the world, sports, business, politics and health.”

Translation: Video clips, salacious stories and paparazzi photos from Hollywood and Bollywood — basically, global tabloid-style wallowing in celebrity gossip, “news” and lifestyles.

You know, like half of the American media outlets currently in operation.

What’s in a Name?’s lead story late last month noted that Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, who, a la David and Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, happens to be married to celebrity cricket star Virat Kohli, was named as PETA’s “Person of the Year.”

And speaking of Ms. Sharma’s art imitating Western life, her claim to fame is starring in the Hindu rom-com “Jab Harry Met Sejal,” whose plot is described as, “A depressed, middle-aged tour guide gets another chance to experience life when he meets a chirpy girl” (see photo).

Somewhere, Rob Reiner is cashing royalty checks.

Of course, PETA lavished its praise on Sharma for her “love of furry friends,” but just happened to note, in passing, that she was also named PETA’s “Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity” in 2015.

Funny how that works.

The online story explained that she helped protect dogs from fireworks and advocated for horses who pull carriages in Mumbai, as well as “visiting an animal shelter and promoting its work on her social media platforms.”

All that seems nice, but hardly the citation you’d expect to read on someone’s Person of the Year plaque.

However, the article also noted that Sharma recently launched her “cruelty-free NUSH clothing line,” and that’s where, as it turns out, the hypocrisy really hits the fan.

For starters, Sharma tried to share the angst, the turmoil that marked her adolescence.

“As a young girl, shopping for clothes that suited my sense of fashion under one roof was a struggle,” she confessed. “I would end up going to different stores to put together the right casual ensemble.”

I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that trauma must have triggered.

She continued: “With NUSH, we endeavor to bring clothes that you can wear to work, to college, to an evening do or even just to hang out casually — all under one label.”

Hallelujah! . . . or, whatever the Hindu equivalent of that exclamation might be.

But guess what? Seems all those “fashionable and beautiful clothes” (allegedly) designed by our Person of the Year were in fact rip-offs of Chinese knock-offs.

As an exposé on the website explained, “After seeing the promotion pictures of NUSH, we saw a fan’s lead and Googled some of the items. We found a similar apparel item as NUSH on the Chinese e-commerce website Upon digging deeper, we found similar designs all over Aliexpress, Wish and Taobao, which are all Chinese wholesale websites.”

The article posted side-by-side comparisons (check it out here), finding that Sharma’s designs “did not seem merely inspired, but sourced right from these wholesale websites. We found the exact same item, but of course with the tag of NUSH.”

Nice choice, PETA.

Ms. Sharma no doubt makes for a pretty promotional photo, but her bona fides as Person of the Year appear to be as phony as the labels on her designer duds.

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator.

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