The Players: Actress Cloris Leachman; GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons
Opening Serve: Bob Parsons gave the public another reason to dislike his Internet domain registrar company GoDaddy.com earlier this week when he posted a video of himself shooting an elephant.
Return Volley: In addition to being an actress, Cloris Leachman is a PETA supporter and was disturbed by the news of Parsons' elephant shooting. She took to Twitter to air her greivances with the CEO, writing, "I am appalled to learn that GoDaddy's CEO kills elephants for his sick enjoyment. Join @PETA and tell them off!" And later, "GoDaddy needs to be taught a lesson! Help me do it. Let's show them that we're not going to stand for this!" Leachman's crusade against GoDaddy continues as more of her followers express support. Most recently she added "Here I am at the @SanDiegoZoo not-killing elephants. #NoDaddy"
What They Say The Fight's About: Leachman, along with PETA, argue that Parson's actions were inhumane. Parsons insists that he was actually helping the people of the Zimbabwe village by killing the "problem elephant" and allowing them to eat it. One Leachman supporter, professional Christmas tree decorator Debi Staron argues, "Something simple as tabasco on plants or different crops could have stopped the "problem elephant". :("
The Real Issue Here: Whether PETA can drum up enough outrage against Parsons on its own. PETA launched a campaign against Parsons and GoDaddy almost immediately after the elephant video surfaced. But, it seems like the voice of a celebrity may be just what PETA needs to gain real support. This afternoon, Parsons proved that he was unphased by the negative attention, tweeting "PETA awards me 'The Scummiest CEO of the Year Award!' Here's why that doesn't bother me at all," linking to a blog with stats on PETA's own supposed record of animal killings. But, today alone, Leachman has solicited several Twitter followers to join the anti-Parsons bandwagon and, as blogger Neville Hobson predicts, that "If she can get traction, a crisis for GoDaddy."
Who's Winning Now: Leachman. Parsons may not care that everyone now hates him, but they do. A quick Twitter search of Parson's name produces an endless scroll of outrage including such sentiments as, "Bob Parsons is the new Michael Vick," and "Bob Parsons...today's worst person in the world." Others such as Lauren Zimmerman and architect Ann Francis tweeted at Leachman today that they had already cancelled their GoDaddy accounts and were encouraging others to do the same.