Acclaimed actor and activist James Cromwell was arrested earlier this week for protesting the “Orca Encounter” show at SeaWorld in San Diego, California, according to Enetertainment Weekly.
In a statement to EW, Cromwell said:
“It is necessary to do whatever one can for these magnificent animals, who live, day after day, in such abject misery, their sides raked by the teeth of other angry orcas, who have nothing to vent their fury on but one-another, their dorsal fins flopped over to one side, their vascular systems compromised by living for years in a concrete tank filled with chemically treated water, aimlessly floating in place to break the endless monotony of swimming in small circles.
“Today, a baby Orca died at the SeaWorld in San Antonio. She was the granddaughter of Kasatka, who is here in San Diego, and who herself is dying of grief and mis-treatment. This three-month-old baby becomes the fortieth Orca to die at SeaWorld, none of them of old age. This has to stop. SeaWorld must invest in seaside sanctuaries, now. Let them at least live a natural life. They are family-oriented animals who have been separated from their families. To everyone I say, ‘End this nightmare. Vote with your wallet. Refuse to be a voyeur at a horror-show. It’s the humane thing to do.'”
SeaWorld, for its part, called it “nothing more than a [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] publicity stunt,” adding:
“Our first priority is to ensure a safe and great experience for our guests, who come to SeaWorld to enjoy a day with their families. Fortunately, we promptly managed the disruption and our guests were pleased with our actions.
“The truth is that all our animals, including our orcas are healthy and get extraordinary veterinary care from a dedicated and loving team of experts. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, SeaWorld is ‘meeting or exceeding the highest standard of animal care and welfare of any zoological organization in the world.'”
Read the full Entertainment Weekly story here, and check out a video of Cromwell’s protest below.