PETA's Rejected Super Bowl Ad 'Takes A Knee' For Spiders, Rats, Maybe Black People
It's Super Bowl Sunday ... or the day of the Big Game if you don't want to get sued. The expensive, often lengthy, star-studded commercials are arguably the main event, but one ad you won't see tonight is a bit of nonsense from PETA. The animal rights organization claims the NFL and Fox rejected its minute-long ad with extreme prejudice. Why? The NFL and Fox haven't commented, but I suspect it's because they watched it.
The commercial features cartoon woodland creatures taking a knee just like former football player Colin Kaepernick (he was blackballed, you know, and his career effectively ended). The ad closes with the message: "Respect is the right of every living being. #EndSpeciesism." Funny that PETA uses the word "respect" when Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to peacefully protest something specific -- America's ongoing legacy of racist brutality -- and PETA co-opted it for their own agenda.
I realize that PETA's goal all along is to make a scene and generate free publicity. However, this is honestly one of the dumbest things I've seen ... and not just on TV. Strap yourselves in and take a look.
Some of the many bizarre images you saw before your mind shut down to protect your heart include a snake twisting its cursed form into a kneeling position and a spider kneeling alongside a mouse (one of whom is not drawn to scale). PETA slammed the NFL for allegedly "pressuring" Fox not to air the ad. The organization released a statement on scratch-and-sniff hemp paper that detailed the thinking behind the spot.
The NFL's problem with Colin Kaepernick's protests has apparently extended to PETA's new Super Bowl LIV commercial, which pays homage to the quarterback by showing a variety of animals—from a bee to a bear to a bald eagle—"taking a knee" while the national anthem plays, ending with the message "Respect is the right of every living being. #EndSpeciesism.""
PETA is challenging speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview that allows humans to disrespect other living, feeling beings and to treat their interests as unimportant," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "Our patriotic Super Bowl spot envisions an America in which no sentient being is oppressed because of how they look, where they were born, who they love, or what species they are. It sends a message of kindness—one that the NFL should embrace, not silence."
I'll say this for the second time this week but black people aren't cows. We're not discriminated against because we lack opposable thumbs or taste amazing when cooked over a wood-fired grill. Racism is the act of humans treating other humans like garbage. There are few known cases of adult pigs freaking out and fatally shooting baby pigs who they thought had a gun.
PETA is infamous for running shocking ads that are often just shockingly bad. It's as if their advertising agency is Bialystock and Bloom. PETA's ads might get people talking -- or just laughing -- but they fail completely in persuading anyone who doesn't already agree with their cause.
Now here is a Super Bowl spot that would almost inspire me to permit a dog in my house.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).