Photo Courtesy of The Daily Dot
Story by Asher Moosavi/Contributing Writer
As another Super Bowl Sunday came and went, we have had time to reflect on advertisements from brands and organizations of all sorts, whether it’s Old Spice starring the lovable Terry Crews or that Doritos commercial with the goat. Some of them can be funny, while others are emotional and tear-jerking. However, a new ad was rejected by the Super Bowl, managing to be a laughing stock more than an emotional ride, as it was widely considered to be cashing in on a civil rights movement.
The animal organization, PETA, had an animated commercial using a speech made by Colin Kaepernick, an American football quarterback and civil rights activist. In the commercial, animals are shown “taking the knee” as a protest against people who disrespect them. As someone who loves animals and advocates for civil rights, I remember looking at this commercial and admiring the animation for a few seconds before it cut to a bee taking a knee. By that time, I literally found the ad to be unbearable to watch, as we’re hearing Kaepernick’s speech he made to support the Black Lives Matter movement being used for PETA’s campaign. To put it nice and short, PETA compared the life of an animal to the life of a black person.
Anyone who is aware of PETA’s occasional practice of killing people’s pets, support for an organization that is strongly hateful towards people with autism, and the fact that they compared “speciesism” to homophobia, racism, and ableism would know well PETA hasn’t changed their viewpoints and is instead trying to profit off of the movement to end violence towards black people in an ad that was almost going to be featured in the Superbowl. If anything, they could have gone for a more fitting speech from others who are advocating for animal rights, or better yet, done interviews with people who are against animal abuse. Instead, they took a speech that was reminiscent of equality and stopping police brutality and used it for their campaign, downright disrespecting and appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement.
This actually isn’t the only time PETA compared animals to black people. In 2005, a campaign compared the abuse of animals to slavery, complete with images of Africans being held in chains with elephants. This sparked outrage among civil rights groups, and it took that much pressure to make the organization apologize for the things they said.
PETA promised that they’d never compare the suffering of black people to animals again, but it seems they haven’t changed, as this rejected 2020 commercial goes to show. We can at least be thankful we didn’t see this commercial on the day of the Super Bowl.
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