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Speed Racer: Shaft is Cast, Possible Chimp Abuse

Can you dig it?
Richard Roundtree, better known as the original Shaft, has been cast in Speed Racer, joining the likes of Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Emile Hersch, Matthew Fox and Christina Ricci. Recently seen playing Simone's father in NBC's "Heroes," Roundtree has otherwise spent his time lately in TV movies and miniseries. In Speed Racer, "Roundtree will play Ben Burns, a racer-turned-commentator who is an icon to the fans and a hero to Speed."

And then there's this...
PETA has said it most certainly cannot dig it when it comes to the chimpanzee being used for the Speed Racer movie. The chimp has reportedly been beaten on the set, and has also bitten one of the young actors. A testy correspondence between PETA officials and producer Joel Silver reveals that PETA has asked the filmmakers to use animatronics instead of live animals. Silver responded with assurances that the animal was being treated properly and they would continue to use live animals. PETA then pointed out that there is still no supervision of the animal during his off hours, when abuse is likely to occur, and thus calls Silver's assurances "meaningless."

Um, go Speed Racer, go?

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