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The Cruelty Question

February 05, 1989

As the screenwriter of "Project X," I want to thank you for your in-depth article exploring the trainers' side of the cruelty controversy ("Animals in Hollywood--Actors or Victims?" by Vicki Hearne, Dec. 11).

I know Hubert Wells and Mark Hardin, and I find them to be decent, compassionate and intelligent men. I was on the set for a good part of the movie, and I never witnessed them or the other trainers abusing any of the chimpanzees. It's a cruel irony to make an animal rights film and have it condemned for the very issues that it speaks out against.

In my opinion a fanatical witch hunt was waged against the film and these trainers. If the people behind this campaign had spent half the time and energy investigating military animal experimentation and abuses, there would probably have been no need for a movie like this. Thanks to this article, the public has at least been able to hear the trainers' side of the story. It's not the vindication one would have hoped for, but it's justice enough.

STANLEY WEISER

Santa Monica

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