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FOX refuses to show anti-speciesist PETA Super Bowl advertisement

by Courtney Deeren - Managing Editor
Wed, Feb 19th 2020 12:00 pm
PETA advertisement depicts animals of all species and types kneeling while the national anthem is hummed softly in the background. Photo Credit: @balleralert via Twitter
PETA advertisement depicts animals of all species and types kneeling while the national anthem is hummed softly in the background. Photo Credit: @balleralert via Twitter

Super bowl LIV saw an array of commercials from the usual brands. But one advertisement that didn’t make it this year was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA). 

The video was barred from airing but was released online via PETA’s website. The commercial, which features someone lowly humming the national anthem, shows several different animals kneeling, a well known stance in the NFL since Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. The advertisement ends with a screen with the caption “respect is the right of every living being” with the following displaying #EndSpeciesism. 

Critics of the advertisement are saying it “trivialized and appropriated quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against police brutality and racial injustice,” according to Reuters. 

“PETA has a long history of misappropriating images of Black suffering & Black struggle to promote its brand,” President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Kristen Clarke, wrote on Twitter. 

A representative for PETA defended the advertisement saying Kaepernick approved of it. 

“No living being, old, young, from another country, LGBTQ, of color or of another species, should be disrespected,” spokeswoman Moira Colley said. 

This isn’t the first time a PETA advertisement has been denied. Back in 2009 an ad promoting vegetarianism was banned by NBC because it was “too sexy” according to a seperate PETA article. Whatever the reason FOX had for banning PETA’s ad this year, it was 

probably best. 

While there is nowhere confirming Kaepernick had, in fact, approved of the advertisement, this does more than just appropriate and trivialize Kaepernick’s cause. There is a long running history of comparing people of color to animals in a racially charged and degrading way. Not only does this advertisement compare speciesism to racism, but it also monopolizes on a struggle faced by people of color and makes their point in an inappropriate way. 

By taking this case that is meant to call attention to an injustice done on people of color and twist it to speak about an injustice done to animals is not only highly insensitive to those experiences of people facing these injustices but also feeds into a new microaggression. The degradation and trivialization of these issues by PETA was an absolute thoughtless act. 

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