‘Elite’ Star Miguel Bernardeau Is ‘Trapped’ in Tank for Anti-SeaWorld Ad

Actor and Avid Surfer Teams Up With PETA to Urge Theme Park to Release 'Quarantined' Animals Into Seaside Sanctuaries

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – “I can’t imagine how terribly orcas and dolphins, who can swim for miles and miles a day in the ocean, suffer when they are trapped in tiny tanks,” says actor Miguel Bernardeau in a new video for PETA, filmed shortly before the coronavirus crisis began. The Elite star’s campaign, shot by top photographer Michael Muller, urges the millions of people now stuck in quarantine to consider how SeaWorld has isolated animals who’ve been taken away from their ocean homes for decades.

PETA is calling on SeaWorld to use its COVID-19 closure to plan the transfer of the captive orcas and other dolphins to seaside sanctuaries and to make rides, not live animals, the center of its business model.

“Dozens of orcas and hundreds of dolphins have died languishing in tiny tanks,” the actor—who enjoys surfing in Los Angeles when he’s not filming his hit Netflix show—explains in the video. “No one gave us the right to abuse animals this way. Animals are NOT ours to use for entertainment.”

In nature, orcas form complex relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and traverse up to 140 miles of the ocean in a day. But those at SeaWorld are housed in incompatible groups inside cramped tanks, and some are even given the drug diazepam to manage their stress-induced aggressive behavior. Across the three SeaWorld parks, 140 dolphins are crammed into just seven small tanks and are forcibly bred, sometimes after being drugged. Dolphins at all three parks have been observed with open wounds and extensive scarring on their faces and bodies.

“People my age, we don’t want to see animals in captivity,” Bernardeau concludes. “We want to keep orcas and dolphins in the ocean, where they belong.”

Bernardeau joins a growing list of celebrities—including Jessica Biel, Noah Cyrus, Kate del Castillo, Bella Thorne, P!nk, Alec Baldwin, and Krysten Ritter—who’ve teamed up with PETA or PETA Latino to speak out against marine parks.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind