The fine folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) once again created some anti-meat buzz and propaganda where no buzz actually existed—although the propaganda was in abundance. In their never-ending quest to end hunting, farming and the eating of meat, PETA promoted a supposed “Super Bowl commercial” to garner ever-more attention. This time, the group even tried to use religion to shame meat eaters.
Several days before the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots took to the field to play Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, news stories began circulating about a PETA ad slated to run during the big game. People.com, among many other media outlets, reported the ad featured actor James Cromwell, known for his numerous movie roles, including playing Farmer Hoggett in the film “Babe.”
Turns out, Cromwell is also an avid supporter of PETA.
In the commercial, as People.com noted, “Cromwell portrays a priest hearing the confession of a meat marketer in the spot titled ‘Redemption.’ The dark commercial’s plot revolves around a seemingly arrogant, excuse-making man who enters a confessional booth inside a church and boasts that he invented the term ‘humane meat.’”
Though he claims to want forgiveness for his “sins,” the man—clearly a meat industry advertising executive—is so obviously dishonest that a disgusted “Father” Cromwell tells him, “There’s no forgiving you,” before slamming shut the confessional window. The segment ends with the message, “Go Vegan.”
In truth, PETA was not going to run the commercial during the football game at all. As CountyLiving.com reported, “Though [PETA calls] it a Super Bowl spot, it isn’t actually going to air during the game. A representative from PETA told CountryLiving.com that they initially submitted the ad to NBC to air during the Super Bowl and were quoted around $10 million even before the ad was approved. PETA decided to simply run the ad online…”
Ever the victim, PETA claimed the 30-second spot was supposed to cost half that or $5 million. Not so, countered NBC, the network of the 2018 Super Bowl. According to a statement issued by NBC, “The price we quoted PETA was consistent with the way we work with advertisers who are seeking to purchase a single ad in the Super Bowl.”
No matter. PETA had already convinced many in the media that it was running a Super Bowl ad. In fact, several Internet media outlets, including Yahoo! Lifestyle and the sports fan site SBNation, were fooled into believing the ad was the real deal. So much so, these websites broadcasted PETA’s YouTube version of the commercial in their coverage of Super Bowl commercials.
One doesn’t know which is worse: that PETA tried to use Christianity as a lever to shame meat eaters into going vegan, or that PETA’s Super Bowl “commercial” was a lie. Unless, of course, you truly believe PETA was going to pony up the $5 million but balked at going to full $10 million?
Frankly, we don’t buy it—not the supposed series of events or the anti-meat message!