Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Aretha Franklin: PETA Asks Family to Donate Queen of Soul’s Vast Fur Collection

*PETA sent a letter asking Aretha Franklin’s family to donate her vast collection of fur coats, VIBE reports.

According to the outlet, Franklin’s family hasn’t accepted the offer, but if they do, the letter states that the music icon will “posthumously join” other celebrities “who have donated unwanted fur coats to PETA” including Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, Mary Tyler Moore and Sharon Osbourne.

Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman wrote a letter to Franklin’s niece Sabrina Garrett Owens asking for the Queen of Soul’s fur collection to be donated.

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“PETA sent a letter asking the late Aretha Franklin’s estate to donate her vast fur coat collection to PETA’s fur donation program which sends furs to people in need in refugee camps and at homeless shelters as well as to wildlife rehabilitation facilities, which turn them into bedding for orphaned wildlife,” the organization announced in a press release Friday (Aug. 24).

Owens had not publicly responded to the letter by Saturday afternoon, which said: “Designers, brands, and stores are dropping fur as quickly as consumers are ditching it. As faux fur and other cruelty-free, vegan materials take over, real animal fur can be put to good use, and this generous donation would secure Aretha forever as an “Angel” for animals.”

Franklin, an 18x Grammy-winning singer died at 76 on August 16 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Months before her death, she canceled multiple performances, including a headlining performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in March.

“Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” Franklin’s management said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.”

Read PETA’s full letter to Sabrina Garrett Owens below:

Dear Sabrina,

We’re so sorry for the loss of your aunt. The world has lost an amazing talent, and we’re grateful that her music will live on.

Aretha will always be remembered for all that she did to help empower African-American people, especially women, in her lifetime. Might we now call on her estate to help end the cruel era of wearing animal fur by donating her fur coats to PETA, where they’ll go on to offer warmth and comfort to those who need it the most? In the past, we’ve given donated fur coats—some coming from other wonderful women including Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, and Mary Tyler Moore—to homeless shelters in the U.S. (including in Detroit) and to displaced refugees in Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Syria.

Designers, brands, and stores are dropping fur as quickly as consumers are ditching it. As faux fur and other cruelty-free, vegan materials take over, real animal fur can be put to good use, and this generous donation would secure Aretha forever as an “Angel” for animals.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let us know if there’s anything that we can do to help you and your family through this difficult time.

Best regards,
Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, PETA

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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