Fur and Loathing
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a popular television crime drama on CBS in the United States. The original series is set in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spinoff series called CSI: Miami and CSI: New York have debuted to cater to those local markets.
The fifth aired (but sixth produced) episode of season four, Fur and Loathing (first aired 30 October 2003), had characters Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows investigating the murder of a raccoon fursuiter and following the trail to a fictional furry convention called PafCon. The show portrayed furry conventions as being not much more than lectures and sex orgies, showcasing a private furpile during one scene. Gil Grissom, though, saw spiritual aspects to the fandom and even took interest to a speech and other information relating furry fandom to ancient spirituality.
 Collaboration with Southern California Furries
In August of 2003, the producers of CSI approached Dark Fox (now known as Sabre Fox), who was then head of the SoCalFurs Yahoo! Group, inviting local furries to participate as extras in the already-scripted and in-progress episode "featuring" furry fandom. Dark Fox made an optimistic post to the mailing list, suggesting that furries might be able to finally contribute to portraying the fandom in accurate, positive light. Much discussion was taken up about the positive and negative consequences such an episode would bring to the furry fandom.
After compelling Dark Fox and Kiyo Fox to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the producers lent the two a copy of the draft script for review.. Dark Fox quickly singled out many errors and misconceptions (which he cited as being based on the MTV Sex2K furry episode). During a follow-up meeting with CSI's director, producer, set designer, and creative director, he pointed out these errors, describing and showing real photographs of furry conventions. Nonetheless, even after being shown the truth and correcting many of the crew's perspectives (including the creator of the show), the director gave Dark Fox the ultimatum that the show would continue as previously planned.
Yet another post described Dark Fox's frustration with the impending negative consequences that the CSI episode would have on the fandom's image, including the feeling of futility in dealing with the unmovable objectives of the director and producer. Moreover, he received many "weird" emails. While most seemed supportive, he cited his concerns with being blacklisted for his efforts. Fearing retribution, he posted a public comment on Flayrah, explaining his hardships. 
The episode's convention scene was shot on September 15th of 2003 at the Valencia Hyatt, in Valencia, California. Though the view of most local furs was cautious, about 10 chose to participate as extras. Others were held back at the studio gate reportedly due to payroll concerns. Most of the furs were in normal street clothes, wearing the occasional ears and tails; However Vircoo's fursuit Java, was featured prominently in a scene. The resulting episode showed the real fans several times in several scenes, lingering on Axel Ferret and Glyph for several seconds. The majority of the fursuits shown were of paid actors in "fursuits", scritching each other en-mass in the lobby of the hotel. However many of the non-costumed extra's were indeed local fans, including Jwoulf, AlohaWolf, WhiteTiger, cat, Iron Badger, Mel, Tess Theredpony, and Stego. All extras, including fandom members, were paid by the production company.
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- "It’s Vegas. People come here to be animals."
- Gil Grissom: "Think of stuffed animals as a Jungian archetype. What’s the one quality they possess that a man like Bob Pitt might want? . . . They’re lovable."
- (after gathering several furries in blue fursuits together) - Grissom: "I guess we're lucky blue's not a more popular color" - Fursuiter: "Hello? This is racial profiling!"
- "Sexy" (aka Bud Simmons), when asked to take "her" mask off: "I'm a lawyer, I know my rights - you can't sequester a domestic animal without due cause."
- Catherine Willows: "Well, I like hairy chests, but I'm not about to bop a six-foot weasel!" (6 ft = 1.83 m)
- "He's a raccoon. They're all low-lifes. I mean, honestly, what do they do? Screw? Eat garbage? Screw some more?"
- ". . . she helped me become . . . who I am. I always knew that I was a - something else - and Linda made it real."
- "I'm not so sure that people who dress up like cuddly forest creatures carry guns" -- "You don't think they allow plushies in the NRA?"
- At the end of the show, "We took one look at those furry suits and thought foul play, but this was really just a domestic dispute gone mad."
- "It's fur and loathing in Las Vegas."
- "This isn't a costume, it's a six-foot condom."
- "This is fascinating. A whole tribe of people who prefer to interact as furry animals rather than human beings."
- "It's not that weird. It's instinctual."
- "birth is not destiny. And a human form doesn't always come with a human spirit."
 Views of the program
- I really don't blame the show for taking the weirdest possible angle, because if I were writing the show, I'd do it too. Why? Because a bunch of weirdos in costumes writhing around to porno music is waaaaay better for the ratings than an hour of slightly geeky people in T-shirts with wolves on them arguing about whether the Lion King was a better movie than Watership Down.
- Bennie Tiger was also not surprised, and noted that at least it was balanced in many ways
- KinkyTurtle was amused by the PafCon schedule, and the location (CSI: As If Furry Cons Could Afford Las Vegas)
- Rigel disagreed with the choice of subject matter, but thought it was funny
- Lucite Vixen was amused rather than angered
- 2 the Ranting Gryphon has expressed amusement in the show on 2 Sense, claiming that it's controversial among furries because it's somewhat accurate.
- Xydexx thought people outside the fandom probably didn't care all that much
- There's a saying that puts the whole CSI mess into perspective: "You wouldn't care so much about what people thought about you if you knew how rarely they did."
- Google Groups search from September 1-November 30, 2003:
- References to "CSI" on alt.fan.furry: 909
- References to "furry" on alt.tv.csi: 31
- Asia Neko thought the show misrepresented many furry lifestylers, and many people's views of furries were tainted due to the episode.
- Kay Shapero was an extra at the filming of the episode. Once the show aired, she thought that there were many gaping plot holes, and suspected that the whole storyline was so that Grissom could deliver the pun in the closing line of the episode.
- Cid SilverWing was so revolted by the episode that he publicly expresses an extreme desire to have the episode banned "for defaming the Furry Fandom and misrepresenting it utterly."
- Mr. Initial Man pointed out on the episode's IMDB goofs page that a fursuit with a latex lining would be very unrealistic, particularly in Nevada.
It certainly wasn't all bad, as some people joined the fandom as a result.
 See also
- Fur and Loathing at Wikipedia
- ↑ "Attn SoCalFurs!"
- ↑ "As promised.. a CSI Update"
- ↑ Second CSI Update
- ↑ Crew's reactions to being shown real pictures of furry conventions
- ↑ Dark Fox's frustration
- ↑ Dark Fox's Flayrah reply
- How accurate is the episode's portrayal of furries? by PeterCat
- Worst Family TV Show of the Week: C.S.I. - more plot details
- CSI - Fur and Loathing at CSIguide.com
- CSI page on jumptheshark.com, where the episode is a top contender for a " jump the shark" moment (It should be noted that most people by far don't consider the show to have jumped the shark yet)
- Furry Convention on CSI (with video) - commentary and highlights by Ciaran Skye at Fur Central
- Download of the episode provided by Andrew Koch
- Transcript of the episode
- As seen on TV!... - West Corner Of the Park strip referring to the episode.