Sometimes when someone says something stupid, outlandish or inappropriate the only defense they can use is that it was "just a joke." That's the tune PETA is playing to backpedal away from attacking Mario for wearing a Tanooki-suit with a press release and a web game called Mario Kills Tanooki. Today PETA tells web site Kotaku that the whole campaign was meant to be "tongue-in-cheek." Gamers found it to be more like "foot in mouth" or "head up ass."
"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," Shakira Croce, PETA's media coordinator said. "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."
We're at least glad to hear that PETA heard gamers when they complained about their latest campaign - which many thought went out of its way to lambaste a beloved icon for no particular reason other than to draw some attention. They certainly got some attention.
Source: Kotaku. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.