This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t go on without first getting caught up in some controversy.
It began with animal rights group PETA’s protests against the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s scheduled SeaWorld float; which featured two large killer whales joyfully playing in the ocean. The popular marine mammal park got some bad press this year with the release of Blackfish – a CNN documentary that exposed the alleged mistreatment of this ocean dweller. Thsi made the PETA organization, and its supporters, very upset.
12-year-old NYC resident Rose McCoy attended this year’s Macy’s Parade, but not to celebrate. The young lady was on a mission to bring attention to the ignored issue of the SeaWorld float, after PETA protesting plans fell through. On Thursday, she jumped the metal barricades into the parade chanting and holding a sign that said, “Boycott SeaWorld” as the killer whale spectacle passed by. A security guard pushed McCoy out of the way within seconds. Later that evening, she spoke with the New York Daily News: “I was a little nervous when I climbed the barricade and then saw the security guard coming at me. One of the cops said I ruined the parade, which actually made my day.”
Macy’s did comment on the original issue saying that the float was never meant to harm or offend:
"Our newest float with SeaWorld is being included in the 2013 Parade line-up to illustrate the wonder of marine life in a manner that inspires millions to learn more about our oceans," said a Macy's spokesman. "While we understand that there may be differing views about this float, no other message or endorsement is intended."
A spokesman from SeaWorld said the company views PETA as an extremist organization. "At this moment, while PETA is busy planning their latest publicity stunt, dozens of rescued animals are being treated by SeaWorld staff in preparation for return to the wild—part of a program that has assisted more than 23,000 ill, orphaned and injured animals to date," he said. "We believe most Americans recognize that SeaWorld, not PETA, is the real animal welfare organization."