Actor and activist James Cromwell was cited for trespassing Monday at SeaWorld in San Diego over a PETA protest against what the actor called the horrific treatment of orca whales.
Clad in a “SeaWorld Sucks” t-shirt, Cromwell and other protesters were taken away after they crashed SeaWorld’s famous “Orca Encounter” whale show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Video of the protest was posted by PETA on Facebook. The clip had racked up over a half million views.
The Babe and American Horror Story star addressed what he called the theme park’s “horror show” in a press statement.
“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,” Cromwell said.
— PETA: Turkeys are killed at 6mo, don’t eat babies (@peta) July 25, 2017
“To everyone I say, ‘End this nightmare,” the 77-year-old Oscar-nominated actor said. “Vote with your wallet. Refuse to be a voyeur at a horror-show. It’s the humane thing to do.'”
SeaWorld called the incident “a PETA publicity stunt,” in a statement published by Entertainment Weekly.
“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,” representatives for SeaWorld said, adding that the parks have rescued over 30,000 marine animals in the last 50 years.
“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,” the park added. “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.'”
Monday’s incident wasn’t Cromwell’s first run-in with law enforcement over his activism.
In June, the actor was sentenced to a week in jail stemming from a 2015 arrest during a power plant protest in New York, the Times-Herald Record reports.
Following his arrest Monday, Cromwell was on social media protesting Republican efforts to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
— James Cromwell 🐷 (@jamesocromwell) July 25, 2017