Filed under: Creative Activism, Media Pranks, Pranksters
Submitted by Josh Jaspers:
Urban fox hunt video was hoax aimed at the media, say film-makers
by Paul Lewis
6 August 2010
Chris Atkins explains how he hoaxed the press into printing stories about urban fox hunters.
It was the internet video that sparked a media outcry: grainy footage that seemed to show four masked men drugging a fox and later beating it to death with cricket bats in a London park that was posted on YouTube and Facebook earlier this week.
But the Guardian can reveal that the new sport of “urban foxhunting” was an elaborate hoax. The film-makers, Chris Atkins and Johnny Howorth, said no real foxes were harmed in the film, which was intended as a satirical swipe at “media hysteria” over the danger of urban foxes.
Animal rights campaigners had expressed fury over the “bloodthirsty” huntsmen, eliciting the support of MPs on Twitter and prompting an inquiry by the Metropolitan police’s wildlife crime unit.
YouTube and Facebook removed the footage and the controversy was covered in news outlets including the Guardian, the Times, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. The BBC was also duped, sending a reporter to Victoria Park, Hackney – the supposed scene of the crime. Amid a growing furore, the animal welfare group League Against Cruel Sports launched a campaign against urban foxhunting, while the RSPCA said it was investigating. (more…)