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PETA's Kaepernick-inspired commercial backfires spectacularly

The animal rights group is being dragged by the exact political groups they sought to charm

Image source: PETA video screenshot

Radical animals rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has earned itself widespread scorn once again, this time for releasing a commercial showing animals kneeling in protest in the same fashion as former NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick.

But instead of earning praise in their attempt to honor vegan Kaepernick, the organization sparked fury among social justice warriors.

What are the details?

PETA claims their new animated commercial "inspired by Colin Kaepernick's activism against racial inequity and systemic oppression" was supposed to air during the Super Bowl, but the NFL allegedly pressured Fox Sports to reject it.

So, the activist group released its masterpiece on Friday, which shows numerous animals — including a fish and a snake — "kneeling" Kaepernick-style as "The Star Spangled Banner" is hummed in the background.

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Within hours of the release, it became clear from the online and media responses to the ad that PETA did not receive the kind of attention it expected from its commercial.

The group's ad was lambasted by several people as stupid for the "kneeling" snake and fish, and deemed disrespectful to the United States by others. But where PETA received the most criticism was from social justice advocates accusing the group of tone-deafness for "appropriating" Kaepernick's protest against racial injustice and attempting to equate it to the plight of animals.

Michael Harriot wrote in The Root that with its ad, "PETA colonized the Black Lives Matter Movement; disrespected Colin Kaepernick's protest against injustice, and made a mockery of 400 years of systemic oppression by comparing Black lives to grizzly bears and bald eagles."

Harriot's piece was titled, "PETA's #PetLivesMatter Super Bowl Ad Is So White, Even the NFL Is Like: 'Come on, Son!'"

Erica Cobb, co-host of Daily Blast LIVE called PETA's ad "so disrespectful," explaining, "Black people already feel like dogs having clean drinking water is more important than black people have clean drinking water."

Twitter users certainly noticed the ad, too — the hashtag #PETA was trending for most of the day as negative feedback rolled in.

Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian tweeted, "Not wanting to add more views or attention to PETA but I'm so tired of how consistently their 'activism' is deeply oppressive, offensive, and degrading to ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS. Of course, we shouldn't be cruel to animals but the real oppression of Black folks is not equivalent."

At one point, PETA attempted to appease their critics by tweeting, "We are inspired by all movements that remind us to open our hearts and minds and reject every form of injustice. We were thrilled to hear back from Kaepernick, who appreciated that his bold activism inspired our #EndSpeciesism Super Bowl ad."


That tweet didn't seem to help, either. As the controversy over the ad continued on social media, several people shared that PETA had blocked them for criticizing the group.

One last thing…
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