‘Jessica Jones’ Star Krysten Ritter Takes On SeaWorld In New PETA Campaign

Krysten Ritter has just joined a new fight, but this time Ritter won’t be battling evil on the Jessica Jones set.

There has been a long struggle, launched primarily by PETA, to compel SeaWorld to free their captive orcas with evidence suggesting that captivity is detrimental to the orcas as a species and to the specific killer whales held in SeaWorld facilities. Now, Jessica Jones actress Krysten Ritter is joining a long list of celebrities in aiding PETA’s fight against SeaWorld by appearing in a new ad campaign designed to turn the public against SeaWorld in greater numbers.

Jessica Jones Star Krysten Ritter Wants Your Help In Freeing Orca Whales From SeaWorld’s Grip

Break free: That’s the message Krysten Ritter and PETA are sending out to the public in pleading for everyone’s help to aid in the freeing of the killer whales held captive in SeaWorld tanks. People magazine reveals that Ritter’s campaign, organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, urges SeaWorld to free their orca whales and let them live out their lives in sea sanctuaries.

For the ad, Krysten poses in a white top with contrasting black bikini bottom, taking on the traditional colors of the Orca whales, as she is seen inside a water tank and banging on the fractured glass. Ritter was photographed by Michael Muller, who specializes in underwater photography.

“Break Free. Help Free the Orcas From SeaWorld” are printed on the ad.

Orca Whales Suffer Immeasurable Traumas Through The Captivity Experience

The captivity of orcas in SeaWorld facilities have long been a concern, due to the increasingly obvious signs of strain and stress revealed in the animals’ behavior, but new evidence reveals that captivity may hold a special hardship for killer whales. It has been found that, when unrestrained, orca whales swim up to 100 miles per day, which is something SeaWorld tanks prevent the animals from doing. Monsters and Critics shared a segment of Krysten Ritter’s PETA interview in which the Jessica Jones actress reveals that each orca whale would have to swim 3,100 laps in a standard SeaWorld tank to make up for that same level of exercise in the open sea.

Ritter also points to the habits of captive whales in breaking their teeth on bars and suffering deeper psychological trauma as further reasons in compelling SeaWorld to free the orca whales. Additionally, the orcas found in SeaWorld captivity come from different areas, so they are rarely held in a tank with whales of the same pack. As it is with human civilizations, killer whale packs have their own unique languages, customs, and rituals.

“They are paired with other orcas who maybe don’t even speak their same language,” says the Jessica Jones actress on how SeaWorld forces orca whales into strange settings with foreign whales. “It would be like you and I trapped in a bathtub and you spoke French and I spoke English. There [would be] no way for us to communicate.”

The severe treatment of killer whales by SeaWorld as well as the inhumane methods they go through in order to obtain new whales was the subject of the 2013 documentary, Blackfish. As the film highlighted the way in which SeaWorld rips orca families apart in order to replenish their supply of show animals, the company attempted to polish their public image by promoting an ad campaign in which they promised to not take in any new killer whales.

Of course, this only addressed one part of a larger problem. As Krysten Ritter and PETA are still reminding us, orca whales often suffer severe psychological damage as a result of captivity. Blackfish suggested this was known by SeaWorld, when former employees of the aquarium spoke about administering diazepam, an anti-psychotic drug, to the killer whales.

Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter joins a long list of celebrities, including Lily Tomlin, Joan Jett, and Bob Barker in joining PETA’s fight against animal captivity.

[Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Peabody Awards]