Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons' elephant "snuff film" has earned him the first-ever "Scummiest CEO of the Year Award" from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- an honor with which he's obviously not thrilled.
PETA sent Parsons a letter in response to a video he made earlier this month, in which he shoots an elephant in Zimbabwe he claims was ruining the locals' crops. The video also shows dozens of locals -- many of whom are sporting orange Go Daddy hats -- butchering the elephant as AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" is playing in the background.
See PETA's letter below:
I am writing to present you with PETA's first-ever scummiest CEO of the year award (your certificate is on the way). You deserve the award for your egregious disregard for the life of the elephant you shot and killed for your personal enjoyment. Such behavior only shows a poverty of understanding and a deep insecurity, perhaps in your own masculinity. Nonlethal methods are available to protect crops from elephants left hungry because of their disappearing habitat.
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Parsons claims the elephant was a "problem elephant" and killing it was one of the most "rewarding" things he's ever done.
"The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation, and one of the problems they have is the elephants, of which there are thousands and thousands, that trash many of their fields destroying the crops," he posted on his blog Monday.
Parsons isn't taking his "award" lightly. He responded to PETA's letter with a statement accusing the group of acting like thugs trying to extort Go Daddy into donating to its cause.
I understand PETA has an agenda, but I refuse to go along with their extortion-style practice.
Of course, I believe they have the right to register their domain name wherever they wish.
But it is unfortunate to see PETA misconstrue the story with emotion and inaccuracies, threaten a company because its CEO doesn't share PETA's position and then solicit charity donations as they did in a letter to me yesterday. Will we donate to PETA in return for their business? Absolutely not.
I stand by my decision to help African villagers. I believe elephant management is beneficial. I have the support of the people who really matter in this situation, the families of Zimbabwe -- people who need help to survive. I have the support of tribal leaders and the government.
The facts are what they are.
- Bob Parsons