FX on Hulu's Y: The Last Man TV series has apparently decided to use a real monkey in their production of the series, according to a press release from PETA. The series (based on the popular DC/Vertigo comic by by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra) follows "a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event has killed every male mammal save for one lone human and his capuchin monkey..." Clearly, that premise calls for a monkey to be a major character on the show, but in the view of some animal rights activists, putting a live animal through that kind of demanding production would be unethical.
Here's the position that PETA states in an email to Comicbook.com:
"PETA is celebrating a victory today: The producers of Y: The Last Man, who reportedly used a real monkey for the pilot episode, have confirmed to PETA that they will use exclusively computer-generated imagery to portray a monkey character when production resumes this week.
Below, please find a statement from PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange:
For over two years, PETA has been urging the Y: The Last Man team not to prop up a cruel industry that tears baby monkeys away from their mothers and forces them to endure a miserable life stuck inside cages and in front of cameras. The decision to switch to computer-generated imagery is the only ethical option for depicting animals on screen and is welcome news for primates who suffer in the entertainment industry.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment"—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. More information about the behind-the-scenes suffering of animals used in film and television is available here, and I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have."
As indicated in the PETA statement, Y: The Last Man has resumed production, after having shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show once starred Dunkirk's Barry Keoghan in the titular role of Yorick (aka "Y"); he dropped out, and Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief) has since taken over the lead role. The cast of Y: The Last Man also includes Diane Lane, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland, Elliot Fletcher, and Amber Tamblyn. Eliza Clark will serve as showrunner.
FX has been trying to adapt Y: The Last Man since 2015, one of several attempts to bring the 2002-2008 comic series to the screen. A film adaptation bounced around Hollywood from 2007 - 2014.
At this time, FX on Hulu has no official premiere date for Y: The Last Man.