By Katie McFadden
PETA is suing San Diego Airport because they refused to put up their ads telling people to ban SeaWorld.
The advertisement features actress and San Diego native Kathy Najimy, who starred in “Sister Act” and in television shows. The ad says “Welcome to San Diego! If you love animals like I do,” Najimy continues, “please avoid SeaWorld.” However the airport, which PETA claims makes thousands of dollars in SeaWorld ads, rejected the PETA ad.
More specifically, the airport advertsiting vendor JCDecaux rejected the ad for its anti-SeaWorld message. However PETA and ACLU claim that the vendor cannot refuse to run the ad since it also had ads from other nonprofits and SeaWorld. Due to this, PETA and ACLU of San Diego ad Imperial Counties, filed a lawsuit against the airport.
“Even though the airport’s advertising vendor welcomes ads from other nonprofits-and from SeaWorld itself-it has refused PETA’s $17,500 to place Kathy’s ad because of the anti-SeaWorld message,” PETA said in a blog post.
“While the government has some authority to regulate advertising, this is an example of the government abusing that authority and unfairly discriminating against the message of a specific advertiser,” Sean Riordan, ACLU senior staff attorney said in a press release. “The First Amendment stands to protect against this kind of viewpoint discrimination.”
“When I was growing up in San Diego, we didn’t know better and our folks took us to SeaWorld,” Najimy said according to PETA. “We were blind to the reality that these gorgeous creatures were being abused and belong in their natural habitat.”
Najimy offered alternatives to going to SeaWorld. “If you want a fun day in San Diego, then take your family to Balboa Park and ride the carousel, see a great play at The Old Globe theater, or get naked at Black’s Beach and hope you see a regal whale in her natural, compassionate, safe home!”
PETA seems to have a vendetta against SeaWorld ever since the documentary Blackfish claimed that the park cruelly captures and mistreats the orca whales in their parks.