PETA’s banned Super Bowl ad compared ‘speciesism’ to racism

The ad shows numerous animals imitating former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by kneeling.

Feb 3, 2020, 8:26 pm

IRL

Mikael Thalen 

Mikael Thalen

PETA banned Super Bowl ad

PETA/YouTube

PETA has come under fire after an ad it produced for the Super Bowl compared racism to “speciesism.”

The animal rights group, which claims the ad was barred from airing during Sunday’s game, shared the one-minute clip to Twitter on Friday and was immediately bombarded with criticism.

“THIS is the PETA Super Bowl ad the NFL apparently didn’t want you to see and pressured FOX Sports to snub,” PETA wrote in the tweet. “It envisions a world where respect is the right of every being and pays homage to Kaepernick and movements rejecting injustice.”

The video shows numerous wild animals imitating former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously kneeled during games in protest of police misconduct, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” is hummed in the background.

The ad closes out with a message stating that “Respect is the right of every living being” before the hashtag #EndSpeciesism is displayed.

The video has currently received over 3.7 million views on Twitter and an overwhelmingly negative response.

“How y’all take a gesture that’s symbolic of Black Americans’ fight against police brutality, apply it to animals & think it’s a good idea???” Twitter user @kayoticcc asked.

People really didn’t appreciate the attempted comparison.

“Are you comparing police brutality on African Americans to me eating bacon??” Twitter user @matchu_chutrain asked.

As with any PETA-related content, the post was also flooded with criticism from fans of eating meat.

“Why is my pork chop kneeling?!” Twitter user @ybnfazeasapkang said.

Many also took offense to the fact that PETA showcased fish kneeling as well. (Hint: fish don’t have knees.)

In response to the backlash, PETA defended its ad and even claimed that it was supported by Kaepernick himself prior to its release.

“We are inspired by all movements that remind us to open our hearts and minds and reject every form of injustice,” the organization said. “We were thrilled to hear back from Kaepernick, who appreciated that his bold activism inspired our #EndSpeciesism Super Bowl ad.”

While many described the group’s actions as “tone-deaf,” the incident is far from the first time that PETA has made such controversial comparisons.

In 2016, PETA was met with a similar backlash after it compared animal cruelty to human sexual assault. The organization also defended that ad in a statement to the Daily Dot at the time.

“Who can honestly complain about the sexual abuse of women if they accept the sexual abuse of other females who happen not to be human but have the same vulnerability to pain?” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said.

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