Dr Bob Parsons Kills An Elephant; Feeds Starving Africans
So this is who has to feed starving Africans?? #Solid.
“Big Daddy” Bob Parsons of the web hosting company GoDaddy is in the news again, and boy, is he kicking up a storm.
No, it’s not because he’s recruited another sexy (Go) Daddy Girl for an advertising campaign or because one of his new provocative commercials was voted ‘most-watched’ in the Super Bowl. It’s because he shot a male elephant in Zimbabwe — and posted the explicit video online for the world to see.
“Everybody is focused on shooting the elephant but it’s completely out of context,” he says. “It’s as though I shot it in a zoo or something.”
While PETA falls all over itself being indignant at the very thought of the act, I decide to check out the video — and it’s a must-watch.
It gets interesting in the minute or so of absolute darkness before terrifying shots rent the silence and the hulking shape of an elephant is illuminated by gunfire. Possibly the most offensive scene of the video follows, with Parsons smiling cheekily next to the dead elephant, his gun placed casually on its hide. Its wide open eyes are looking straight at the camera, enough to give anybody the chills.
There are no dialogues or voices, just some overly facile subtitles and the widely-decried AC/DC “Hells Bells” soundtrack. All in all, completely preposterous and more than slightly disturbing.
“It was done to feed farmers on the brink of starvation,” Parsons told wired.com. And will he post the video next year, just as he’s been doing for the last two years? “Sure,” he says, without hesitation. “If I said I wouldn’t be going back [to Zimbabwe], the farmers, they would be very disappointed indeed.”
It seems like the video has touched a universal chord, beyond the usual animal rights crowd. Wayne Parcell of the Humane Society of the United States wrote on his blog that he doesn’t “like doing business with a company with a leader like Parsons.” The society has found a new web host for its 650 domain names. (who recently parodied the GoDaddy Girls in a commercial for a competitor) has lashed out against the video, encouraging her followers to switch to a different web service. A petition started by Laura Goldman of Change.org has more than 3000 signatures, expressing their anger towards Parsons.
Rival companies like Network Solutions and NameCheap.com are capitalizing quickly by offering domain transfers at discounts, and pledging profits to the Save the Elephants charity.
Is Parsons worried about his business? “Will it have a negative impact on GoDaddy? No,” he replies instantly. He believes the people he’s heard from are a small minority. “Most Americans understand that people need to eat,” he says.
It’s hard to decide whether Parsons is a straight-up trophy hunter or is truly misguided into believing he is a savior. But one thing’s for sure- there’s nothing heroic about the bawdy video.
At the end of the day, Parsons says he is an animal-lover. “I have two dogs, and I love ‘em to pieces.”