SAN DIEGO - A brand new "cartoon like" ad showing a man in the grips of an orca's jaws is expected to go up at Lindbergh Field on Tuesday. It will be posted where thousands of people will see it as they arrive this week for Comic-Con.
The man depicted in the cartoon is SeaWorld's CEO. The text next to the cartoon reads, "He will let you go if you let him go."
There is a message behind that message. It goes back to last summer's documentary "Blackfish," which was extremely critical of how SeaWorld captures its killer whales and then keeps them in captivity. It also delves into the death of Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed in 2010 when an orca dragged her through the water.
The documentary also shows video of SeaWorld San Diego trainer Ken Peters being dragged underwater in video taken in 2006.
Dan Mathews is PETA's senior vice president. He told 10News "the ad simply reflects reality" and that the cartoon specifically targeting Comic-Con fans was his idea.
"With 130,000 people coming into San Diego for Comic-Con, we couldn't miss this opportunity to bring this image to people," he said.
This is the second PETA ad slamming SeaWorld that specifically targets tourists at Lindbergh Field. In April, actress Cathy Najimy was featured in an ad.
SeaWorld is fighting back and released the following statement to 10News:
“Even by PETA's standards, this ad is as offensive as it is tasteless. PETA isn't concerned with actually helping animals. They are a radical organization that continues to spend its money on publicity stunts like the profane Jason Biggs video and advertising campaigns like this for the sole purpose of promoting their agenda. The truth is that our killer whales are healthy and happy, and thrive in our care. The real animal welfare organization is SeaWorld, not PETA, and our trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians are the true advocates for animals. We encourage people to get the facts on our commitment to the animals in our care at seaworld.com/truth and seaworldcares.com.