Fur and Loathing

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American crime drama television series produced by CBS. The original series is set in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The spinoff series CSI: Miami and CSI: New York were created to cater to local markets.

Fur and Loathing episode[edit]

An ad about the "Fur and Loathing" episode.

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 in a speech and other information relating furry fandom to ancient spirituality.

CBS and Southern California Furries[edit]

Logo of the fictional PafCon.

In August of 2003, the producers of CSI approached Dark Fox (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" the 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 an accurate, positive light.[1] 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.[2][3]. Dark Fox quickly singled out many errors and misconceptions (which he cited as being based on the MTV's "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.[4]

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.[5] Moreover, he received many "weird" emails. While most seemed supportive, he cited his concerns about being blacklisted for his efforts. Fearing retribution, he posted a public comment on Flayrah, explaining his hardships. [6]

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 masse 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.

Fandom reaction[edit]

A t-shirt drawn by Jimmy Chin and produced by Chairo, jokingly pretending to be from the convention featured in the CSI episode. The back side reads, "I thought it was a coyote!" (a line from the show)

Most agreed that the number of fursuiters and the extent to which they wore them was unrealistic, let alone the furpile scene.

Fur and Loathing
'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
Fur and Loathing

It certainly wasn't all bad, as some people joined the fandom as a result.

Google Groups search from September 1-November 30, 2003:

Cultural references[edit]

  • The title is a play on the 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. In the novel, the protagonist has hallucinations of anthropomorphic desert animals. In the TV episode, Willows says, "I think I'm having Hunter Thompson's flashbacks." and Grissom makes a similar reference as his last line in the episode.
  • When questioning a suspect, Nick refers to "Animal Style", a burger option from the Secret Menu of In-N-Out Burger. Later on, Nick and Sara make a bet in which the loser buys the winner an In-N-Out Double-Double burger, Animal Style.
  • Robert Pitt is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous; Catherine mentions the name of its co-founder Bill W., formally known as William Griffith Wilson.
  • A costumed speaker at "PAFcon" quotes from Erik Erikson's Eight Ages of Man.

Episode quotes[edit]

  • "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" (also known as 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."

See also[edit]


  1. "Attn SoCalFurs!"
  2. "As promised.. a CSI Update"
  3. Second CSI Update
  4. Crew's reactions to being shown real pictures of furry conventions
  5. Dark Fox's frustration
  6. Dark Fox's Flayrah reply

External links[edit]