PETA Statement: Goodbye to Richard Donner, Animal Ally in Hollywood

For Immediate Release:
July 5, 2021

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Below, please find a statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk following the passing of Free Willy producer and longtime PETA supporter Richard Donner.

“PETA will remember Richard as a brilliant director and producer whose movies drew  people to view animals as someone, not something. A pioneer, long before Blackfish opened eyes and hearts, Richard revealed the anguish of captive orcas with Free Willy—and, thanks to the impact of his  film, Keiko the orca was rescued from marine park prison and spent many joyful years swimming free in Norway’s coastal waters. Richard holds a special place in PETA’s heart for his activism and kindness, and we will miss him.”

PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Media Response Team.


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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