PETA Blasts ‘Silicon Valley’ Explicit Horse Sex Scene as ‘Arranged Rape’

The HBO show’s May 1 episode featured two stallions going at it, and the animal rights organization was not amused

Sunday’s episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” included an eye-poppingly graphic scene of two horses having sex, but PETA was not amused.

In fact, the animal-rights group denounced the widespread practice of breeding Thoroughbreds depicted in the episode as “arranged rape.”

“It may seem fun, but the mares are tethered during the process, often with head ropes, with no means of escape, and the stallions are put on a lead rope and dragged to the mares to be mounted: neither the stallions or mares have any choice, it’s assembly line breeding for profit,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a statement to TheWrap.

“And it’s not as if they are making families — the foals of top Thoroughbreds will often be separated from their mothers very early on and raised by nurse mares and the stallions who are treated as if they are nothing more than money-making genetic pools for the racing industry,” Lange said. “There’s an overpopulation crisis in racing as most horses will not win races, and many are therefore discarded and sent on hideous journeys by truck in all weather to Mexico or Canada to be turned into meat.”

In the scene, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) goes to the stables to find Pied Piper’s newly-appointed CEO Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky). Jack is there watching a stallion graphically mounting a mare.

“This kind of arranged rape is what has been happening since February with last year’s Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh’s first stud season,” Lange added. “He will ‘cover’ (mount) 175 mares in a few short months by being teased, ‘fluffed,’ (his penis often having to be guided into the mare), and at just four years old he is not even fully physically mature.”

“Silicon Valley” executive producer Alec Berg told Entertainment Weekly that they initially wanted Richard to find Jack at a car race, but that wasn’t funny enough.

“I took a race driving class years ago at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, and there were all these super rich tech guys who were there with their antique Jaguars and their mechanics in white coveralls tuning their cars, and they’d drive around the track in a silk scarf,” told EW.

“It was a very weird gentlemanly rich-guy pursuit. So we’d talked about maybe that was a Jack Barker thing, but it wasn’t funny…. And the other thing that people talked about was racehorses, and then we landed on this idea of Richard having this very important conversation about the future of his business in front of horses that were going at it, and it just seemed like a really funny contrast.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the scenes were monitored by the American Humane Association, and a veterinarian was present while the two men taking care of the horses in the scene were actual employees of the farm.

“No animals were harmed in making of this film,” executive producer Mike Judge told EW.

Berg added, “One of them was made extremely happy.”