Of all the ways to redeem oneself after being jailed for running a prostitution ring for wealthy clients, driving under the influence, and possessing dangerous drugs without a prescription, staring in a reality TV show about parrots seems to be an odd way to do it.
However, for better or for worse, that's exactly what Heidi Fleiss is planning to do, according to The Washington Post article about an announcement by Animal Planet.
The article reads:
The Silver Spring-based cable network announced Thursday it would debut the one-hour special... “Heidi Fleiss: Prostitutes to Parrots,” on July 31. The special “follows Fleiss as she struggles to care for the news loves in her life -- more than 20 exotic macaw parrots."
This isn't the first time Fleiss has explored interests beyond what she's most know for. A few years ago, she announced plans to leave the sex business and focus instead on alternative energy in Nevada. She also opened a dog grooming business, until it was shut down by a judge as part of a civil lawsuit.
Scott Collins for the Los Angeles Times, is slightly cynical about her newest TV venture, writing, "Given her experience running both male and female bordellos of the human variety, one hopes that Fleiss' natural instincts don't take over this time around."
This brings to light another issue: at what point do we sacrifice animal well-being for entertainment?
A few months ago, viewers were outraged when disturbing and graphic footage from hidden cameras on the training grounds for an elephant featured in the film Water For Elephants, was released.
Earlier this month, PETA picketed the premiere of the film Zookeeper after Tweet the giraffe collapsed and died shortly after he finished filming his scenes.
The organization said:
"Tweet spent the last few months of his life confined to a 20-foot-by-20-foot stall, which was barely large enough for the 18-foot-tall giraffe to lie down in. In their natural habitat, giraffes live in vast home ranges of up to 400 square miles."
According to the article, the claim has been refuted by the American Humane Association.
It's too soon to tell how the 20 exotic birds will fare under the care of the ex-inmate in her new reality show, but one thing is for sure -- it wouldn't be "good TV" if it goes well, and maybe that's the problem.