Filmmakers’ “Rewind” Strategy Tells Story of Mobs of Kangaroos Killed for Athletic Shoes

AWA leaders talk with Gavin Polone as he and director Derek Ambrosi retrace a supply chain stretching from Australia to consumer markets everywhere

Just days after the Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action launched a campaign to urge Nike and other major athletic footwear makers to shed the skins of kangaroos in their products, tennis great Serena Williams told a phalanx of reporters at a post-match news conference at the Australian Open that she would never eat kangaroo meat.

Williams’ moral distaste for kangaroo meat was just the latest high-profile athlete or Hollywood star to speak out on the mass slaughter of kangaroos in the wild for commerce — for their flesh for food and their skins for shoes.

Just days before Serena’s impromptu comments, Ricky Gervais, Woody Harrelson, Zoey Deutch, and Lea Thompson had shared a short film, by producer Gavin Polone and director Derek Ambrosi, with their social media followers that lays bare an element of Nike’s supply chain that stretches thousands of miles and involves the ongoing killing of kangaroos in their native habitats.

Using reverse sequencing, the film by Polone and Ambrosi begins with a soccer player’s shoe kicking a ball into the goal, chronologically looking back through the retail supply chain and manufacturing process, to the Australian outback where wild kangaroos are shot and stripped of their skin — for soccer shoes. This “instant replay” of the companies’ long supply chain makes it clear that Nike and other athletic shoe companies deserve a red card for their role in the largest terrestrial wildlife slaughter on the planet — with two million kangaroos and joeys killed each year.

“I wanted to expose the bloody truth that is being hidden from well-intentioned consumers who may have no idea how their ‘K-leather’ shoes are being made,” said Polone. “Nike can no longer hide its responsibility for this atrocity.” The film concludes by noting that “Nike Profits. Kangaroos Die.”

In the latest Animal Wellness Podcast, we talk to the long-time animal advocate and major Hollywood producer who contributed the film to our global campaign. The 60-second short film steers clear of graphic footage, but nonetheless hits with the force of line-drive penalty kick.

Polone’s other work includes Gilmore Girls, Panic Room, A Dog’s Journey, and Zombieland 2: Double Tap. Ambrosi is known for being the editor of Premium Rush, Mortdecai, You Should Have Left, and director of video collaborations with Jay-Z, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sean Puffy Combs, and John Mellencamp.

Just days after the release of the short film, U.S. Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act, H.R. 917, to ban any trade in the U.S. in kangaroo parts.

The truth is, the killing of two million kangaroos would not happen but for the trade in their body parts. When Nike and other companies stop buying the skins, this commercial enterprise very likely collapses. And then, and only then, can kangaroos live another day.

Wayne Pacelle is the president of Animal Wellness Action and two-time New York Times Best Selling Author of ‘The Bond’ and ‘Humane Economy’

35 thoughts on “Filmmakers’ “Rewind” Strategy Tells Story of Mobs of Kangaroos Killed for Athletic Shoes”

  1. For athletic shoes kangaroos must suffer and die? In this day and age it is time to take the compassionate way and make these shoes so no animal suffers and gives their life for them. There are synthetic materials that could be used to save lives.

  2. I cannot condone killing of an animal just to make a pair of shoes.
    There are many other ways to make a decent shoe.
    Leave these poor animals alone.

  3. Please stop killing these innocent, voiceless creatures. Someday there will no longer be animals in this world due to the actions of us human beings. Stop now before they are all gone!!!!

  4. Each time I hear stories of cruelty, killing of wild animals I am infuriated with human beings. I have been advocating for animals for 40 years plus; however, humans have seemed to increase their cruelty, killing. Legislators Joe Neguse, David Joyce and Steve Cohn have introduced HR 1016 –Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act (ACE) which we all need to support. Humans cannot control their propensity to abuse, kill animals, therefore, we must have laws in effect to protect, preserve domestic and wild animals. My mantra for the past 40 years of advocacy: “Human beings are the nastiest creatures on the planet.”

  5. How anyone could wear or eat anything made from animals is beyond me. Humans are the most cruel species on earth! Anyone who has any compassion or caring heart for living beings would never murder. Animals belong on this earth as much as we do.

  6. Thank you so much for shining the light on this ! Horrendous what humans do to animals.

    Thank you again , and, hopefully, your voice and all of ours will be shutting these manufacturers down.


  7. If Serena Williams. & others EXPOSE Nike they WILL STOP! A CIVILIZED society will NOT STAND for this!! The rest of us, we don’t need Nike. We don’t need leather or fur of ANY animal!! Crocs are for me!! Love my Crocs!!!

  8. We are making it public knowledge about the horrific murder of kangaroos for shoes.
    My family will NEVER buy Nike shoes or clothes again.

  9. Shame on you, Nike, for mutilating innocent animals for profit and greed. You are teaching our younger generation that it is perfectly acceptable and normal to use animals for stupid greed.

  10. Kangaroos should not be killed for athletic shoes. We need to respect these animals and treat them well. Nike needs to stop this cruelty for profit.

  11. UTTERLY HORRIFIC – What is wrong with people – do they just exist on greed? Do they not understand the cruelty to an innocent loving creature that is being killed for their “greed?” All animals deserve our love and compassion – are we not supreme beings?

  12. Animal abusers and those idiots that condone such insane behavior should be locked up in a mental institution.

  13. Have never liked Nike products and have never bought any. This information is not changing my mind about that decision. I know many athletes who are also animal lovers and I will make sure that each and every one of them knows about this and urge them to stop buying any and all of the products made by this company.

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