Speed Racer Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci's latest film has sparked outrage following allegations a chimpanzee was beaten on set.The chimp is said to have bitten an actor on the set of 'Speed Racer', which reportedly resulted in the animal being hit. PETA has written to producer Joel Silver urging him to stop using live animals in his movies.The animal rights campaign group said in a statement: "We've received several troubling complaints from people who have been on the 'Speed Racer' set and report the main chimpanzee 'actor' has been beaten and has bitten one of the human actors. We urge you to stop using live animals and switch to animatronics." However, movie studio Warner Bros insist they will continue to use live animals wherever necessary. A spokeswoman said: "We appreciate the concerns of PETA. We also respect the vision and choices of the filmmakers with which we work. Every option on a film is carefully weighed, and for this production, the decision was made to use live animals."The spokeswoman admitted the chimpanzee did bite a young actor, but denied the animal was beaten and instead was allowed to rest and calm down. She was also adamant that no animals have been abused on the set. PETA remains unconvinced, fuming: "No humane representative is closely monitoring those animals while off-set or during pre-production training,the very places where abuse is most likely to occur. So, we regret to say the assurances offered are meaningless."