PETA backpedals on Super Mario 3D Land attack, urges fans to “Relax!”

PETA is on the defensive after receiving backlash for attacking Super Mario 3D Land for its alleged portrayal of tanuki (aka raccoon dog) abuse. Earlier this week, the animal rights organization posted Super Tanooki Skin 2D, a minigame wherein players control a skinned tanuki tasked with chasing down a bloodied Mario and his fancy new Tanooki suit. Naturally, the gaming community did not take kindly to Mario's new persona, prompting PETA to issue a statement apologizing for what it calls a misunderstood, “tongue-in-cheek” promotion, because PETA is known for having a great sense of humor.

"Mario fans: Relax! PETA's game was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur," said Shakira Croce, PETA's media coordinator in an email obtained by Kotaku. "We wish real-life tanukis could fly or swat enemies away with their tails and escape from those who profit from their skins. You can help them by never buying real fur."

Croce insisted PETA does not actually believe raccoon dogs are depicted poorly in Super Mario 3D Land, but that it was using the game to highlight abuse against real life tanukis and, in small part, the dangerous anti-animal trends in modern videogames.

"We know how beloved Mario is - we are huge Mario fans ourselves! We were a little surprised that the game was taken so literally by some, but we're thrilled that we're able to bring so much attention to raccoon dogs whose suffering is very real," said Palmer.

PETA's pseudo-retraction is better than nothing, but considering gamers weren't so much upset by the allegations as they were about the fact PETA piggybacked on a beloved franchise to get free publicity, it may still be missing the point. That said, whether you agree with their tactics or not, PETA's campaign got a lot of people talking.

And maybe... just maybe... a few innocent tanukis were saved.

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  • Spybreak8 - November 20, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    Simple, don't mess with Mario (people's childhood role model).
  • einhazard - November 18, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Because of this, I will now kill a racoon dog.
  • snothammer - November 17, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    I don't like PETA, at all (and I'm a vegetarian. Not that that matters, I just want to show that some of us are sane and don't agree with PETA.). Anyway, PETA is often hypocritical and demeaning to women. And believe me, I was also offended by how misguided this "joke" was. But really, as far as over-the-top environmental groups go, you can do far worse. Check out some of the stuff ELF (Earth Liberation Front) has done. PETA may be the more annoying organization in the spotlight, but as far as I recall, they have yet to blow up a greenhouse.
  • NullG7 - November 17, 2011 5:32 p.m.

    I just spent 5 minutes typing something only for my browser to refresh. Moral of the story is that PETA is full of a bunch of condescending f***-***** who think they are high and mighty on their front while they have killed over 2,000 animals last year alone. Go back to stopping puppies from dying, instead of killing them yourselves and stop insulting the gaming community.
  • oryanbelt - November 17, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    I really think that people would be more likely so kill more raccoon dogs than save them due to this game that PETA made >_>
  • Pwnz0r3d - November 17, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    The skin had very little to do with animal abuse in the game. PETA has created that analogy themselves. They're nothing more than an incredibly annoying droning noise you hear when you eat meat.
  • angelusdlion - November 18, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    Remember this is the group that called the president a mosnter for swatting a fly. No, seriously.
  • winner2 - November 17, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    PETA will go down in history as the most annoying association in the history of mankind. That's assuming we ever manage to just wipe them out or something.
  • NanoElite666 - November 17, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    More annoying than the Westboro Baptist Church?
  • talleyXIV - November 17, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    Classic, they make an attack and then run away.
  • BigLandoz - November 17, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    The best part of this article is the quote,"We were a little surprised that the game was taken so literally by some." What, you mean like everybody with common sense was a little surprised you took a Mario game so literal? Sorry PETA, it doesn't work that way. I swear, at this point, the people running PETA are more detrimental to their cause than they are helping it...
  • BladedFalcon - November 17, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    Fuck those hypocrites. Seriously, you can't just make an obviously inflammatory action like that game, and then go "Waaah! you guys took it too seriously! we were joking!"
  • shawksta - November 17, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    Whats Ironic about those hypocrites is that their goal is about bashing anything regarding animal abuse, and yet their games is already abusive in itself. Seriously, Cooking Mama? Their Bashing COOKING MAMA for making cooking MEAT? -_-
  • larkan - November 17, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    I think this is just PETA's way of getting some whorish attention, and they succeeded. We all would've been better off ignoring their trash rather than flinging it around in front of them.
  • El Dango - November 17, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    What a weak attempt to save their own dignity.
  • mothbanquet - November 17, 2011 11:31 a.m.

  • ZhugeLiang - November 17, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    Right, because the kind of imagery they used is so easy to approach lightheartedly.
  • MACGRUBER7693 - November 17, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    Nelos that's really an unfair comparison. PETA euthanizes animals out of mercy or when they run out of room to keep them fed like most animal shelters are forced to do. That's a hellva a lot different than a dog fighting ring. On another note This add definitely was not tounge and cheek. It involved graphic violence and was way out of proportion to the cute innocence of 3d land. One parody they did hit the mark on was super tofu boy.
  • MACGRUBER7693 - November 17, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    I also agree that PETA is full of a lot of idiots and can be detrimental to animal rights but to say there hands are just as bloody because they euthanize animals is pushing it.
  • therawski - November 17, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    They euthanize a lot of animals, basically mass-murder numbers.

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