Kathy Najimy's Anti-SeaWorld PETA Ad Banned, Lawsuit Filed

Kathy Najimy's Anti-SeaWorld PETA Ad Banned, Lawsuit Filed

Actress Kathy Najimy grew up going to SeaWorld, but after hearing critics decry how the organization treats its animals she decided to star in a PETA ad against it.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals advertisement shows the Sister Act star in front of this quote, “Welcome to San Diego. If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld.”

The actress, a San Diego native, simply wants SeaWorld to change the way it treats animals in its care. But the ad in question isn’t being shown at San Diego International Airport, also known as Lindbergh Field. That convinced the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter to file suit against the firm who handles the airport’s ads on the grounds of “viewpoint discrimination.”

The ad company dubbed the spot “too demeaning and disparaging,” but since Linderbergh Field is run by a government group First Amendment issues are applicable.

Because the airport has allowed Sea World ads in the past, the ACLU believes it must allow ads with opposing viewpoints.

David Blair is the legal director for the local ACLU.  

“It’s the heart of the First Amendment,” said Blair. “The government can’t favor one viewpoint over another.

The 2013 documentary Blackfish cast a critical eye on SeaWorld’s animal practices, generating plenty of public scrutiny against the company and leading several rock acts to cancel planned concerts at SeaWorld’s Orlando facility.