PETA Plans Protest at First Lady Dinner - NBC New York

PETA Plans Protest at First Lady Dinner



    The First Lady's Fur Flap Controversy

    First Lady Obama's visit to the Tri-State is causing a flap over fur. (Published Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010)

    Their tactics are rarely tactful and once again PETA is stirring the pot.

    The animal rights group has announced that it will kick off its anti-fur protesting season by picketing in front of designer Donna Karan’s house next Monday night, the night she hosts a fundraising dinner in honor of First Lady and faux fur champion Michelle Obama.

    "The First Lady has compassionately chosen to leave fur out of her wardrobe and we hope Donna Karan will follow her lead and leave her out of her designs," said Ashley Byrne, a Senior Campaigner for PETA.

    The president’s better half has even been featured in ad’s put out by PETA alongside other powerful anti fur “stylistas.”

    Mrs. Obama may not wear fur herself and may not condone its use, but some New Yorkers wondered if a rally outside of a dinner she’s attending -- a rally which, if past dictates, will display graphic images of alleged animal abuse -- is the best way to show thanks to a woman who has given them her support.

    Khoreece Mendoza of Pelham, The Bronx, thinks that “its fine to stand up for what you believe in but to impose your thoughts on somebody else in that regard in that sort of matter, I think its inappropriate.”

    But Robyn Gurin of Manhattan doesn’t necessarily think it’s disrespectful, just that “there might be a better place and time to get their message across.”

    This isn’t the first time that PETA has had a problem with Donna Karan, specifically. In 2008 one of their employees snuck into Karan’s house, posed as one of her assistants, and left a DVD of graphic images of animal abuse on her desk, imploring the designer to stop using fur.

    That wasn’t the only aggressive call to action. They’ve also disrupted a number of Karan’s fashion shows and demonstrated outside of her boutiques. Then in late 2008 the designer announced she would not include fur in her fall 2009 campaigns. She didn’t, but only for one year, in fall 2010 fur was back again.

    PETA hopes the First Lady won’t take offense to their protest, but rather use it as a talking point in the dinner. We reached out Michelle Obama’s office but they declined comment. Donna Karan did not return our calls.