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Cardi B - WAP video

Carole Baskin criticises Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ video for its big cat imagery

‘You have to pose a wildcat in front of a green screen to get that image... that tells me they probably dealt with one of the big cat pimps’

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” is a certified hit, and like all big hits, it’s generated its own series of controversies and moral panics in the media.

First there’s Kylie Jenner’s appearance in the video, which led to a petition circulating to get her cameo edited out, resulting in Cardi defending the move. Then there’s the right wing outcry about its explicit lyrics and raunchy music video, which saw conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro say that his wife – a doctor – believes that having a wet pussy is a medical condition, a self-own for the ages.

Then there’s the controversy about big cats. This one is admittedly a little more serious. The “WAP” video features images of lions and tigers, matching the animal print theme of Cardi and Megan’s outfits. Animal rights groups have long criticised the use of wild animals as props in entertainment, as they’re often mistreated by their handlers.

To be fair, the “WAP” video clearly wasn’t using wild animals on set. The video utilises CGI for a lot of its animal shots, with real animals only edited in during post-production rather than sharing a physical space with Cardi and Megan. It’s not quite the same as Cardi B’s previous record with big cats, when she borrowed a captive cheetah from a sultan in Dubai for the “Bodak Yellow” video.

Still, the original source of the animal footage in “WAP” is unclear, which has led to questions being asked by PETA, who said: “If Tiger King taught us anything, it’s that tigers and other wild animals are abused for music videos, selfies, and gawking roadside zoo visitors. So if real animals were used instead of computer-generated imagery, the message sent is that animal exploitation is Okurrr – and it isn't. If Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion really care about pussy liberation, they wouldn’t use suffering big cats as props.”

Ah yes, Tiger KingAnother critic of the video is the big cat activist Carole Baskin, who shot to fame earlier this year when she appeared in the batshit Netflix series. Speaking to Billboard, Baskin offered her critique of the video.

“My guess is that most people won’t even see the Photoshopped cats in the scenes because the rest of it is so lurid,” Baskin said. “I was happy to see that it does appear to all be Photoshopped. It didn’t look like the cats were really in the rooms with the singers. In fact, probably most of the rooms were Photoshopped in via green screen.”

She continued: “That being said, you have to pose a wildcat in front of a green screen to get that image and that doesn't happen in the wild. It can’t happen in sanctuaries like ours where cats have plenty of room to avoid a green screen (or would shred it if offered access and could die from ingesting it). That tells me they probably dealt with one of the big cat pimps, who makes a living from beating, shocking, and starving cats to make them stand on cue in front of a green screen in a studio. That’s never good for the cat.”

Baskin concluded: “The worst part is that it glamourises the idea of rich people having tigers as pets. That makes every ignorant follower want to imitate by doing the same. After tigers are too old for pay to play sessions by people like Joe Exotic, Bhagavan Antle, Marc McCarthy, Mario Tabraue, and others, they become a liability instead of an asset. While I think most are destroyed behind closed gates at that point, some end up being given away to people who want to have a tiger to show off. That never works out and the cats either die or end up dumped in sanctuaries or, worse yet, breeding mills. Either way, it’s always abusive to the cat.”

Cardi’s team have not offered a response to Baskin’s comments, or clarification on how the animals were used in the video. In the meantime, check out “WAP” yourself below.