Animal rights activists in New York plan to expose more than just the naked truth about SeaWorld Thursday during this year’s Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In protest of the controversial theme park’s inclusion in the famed parade, two female demonstrators will strip down, paint themselves black and white to resemble an orca whale and squeeze themselves into a tiny bathtub outside the department store’s iconic location in Midtown Manhattan.
"It is unacceptable to confine orcas to barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub," said Delcianna Winders, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) deputy general counsel told Reuters.
This is the second year in a row that PETA will protest the parade in the frigid temperatures of a New York City November, and it adds to the growing criticism of SeaWorld following the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" that alleged the park mistreated the huge marine mammals.
Macy’s is trying to steer clear of any controversy involving the SeaWorld float.
"The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate or other forms of advocacy, no matter how worthy," Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras said in a statement.
SeaWorld has vowed to keep the float in the parade despite the outrage surrounding the beleaguered theme park’s practices.
"SeaWorld's animals are well cared for, and their health and well-being is a responsibility we take extremely seriously. We are proud of our world-class standards of care," said SeaWorld spokeswoman Aimée Jeansonne Becka.
Macy's has put on the famous holiday parade for 88 years, and this year it is expected to draw a live audience of about 3.5 million people and a television audience of more than 50 million.