Steve-O from MTV’s Jackass found himself in the news again this week, as he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a stunt that he did back in August to raise awareness about marine mammals being held in captivity. The stuntman, who has become famous for his outrageous antics, posted a picture of himself on Instagram holding a blow-up orca to announce his next dangerous feat.
The next picture, posted a few hours later, showed Steve-O dangling from a crane high above Hollywood. This attracted a lot of attention all right, including some from the police! Soon Steve-O was escorted from the scene, unharmed and has now been sentenced to do 30 days in the Los Angeles county jail for his crime. In reply to this sentence, Steve-O released what is possibly the most brilliant response he possibly could have:
Accompanying the photo posted to Instagram, he wrote: “Considering I’ve become a clean and sober, dog-rescuing vegan, I must say I’m ready to go to jail – not just because it will bring so much attention to the plight of orcas in captivity, but because it’s nice to let people know I haven’t lost my edge. What can I say, I’m a jackass. My whole crane-climbing, fireworks debacle really turned out to be pretty meaningful in the end, too. I mean, if your goal is to make a statement about captivity, you may as well get yourself locked up!”
In recent years, films like Blackfish and stunts such as these are drawing more and more public attention to the sad plight of marine mammals in captivity. People are starting to boycott places like SeaWorld, realizing that such large, intelligent and highly social mammals don’t belong in captivity. Steve-O’s response is not only witty, but it is incredibly poignant and cuts to the heart of what is wrong with keeping marine animals in captivity for the sake of our entertainment. We are jailing these highly intelligent and emotional animals and depriving them of the basic things that they need to thrive.
So, while Steve-O might have to serve out a month in county jail, his sentence is nothing compared to that of these animals. The saddest part of this all is that we now know what captivity does to marine animals and we have the power to stop it – but the motives of profit and entertainment have prevented us from doing so.
We can all play a role in helping to end this cruel captivity – and it doesn’t need to involve drastic stunts that end with you in jail. By simply sharing this article and helping to raise awareness and encouraging others to boycott marine parks, you can make an impact for animals. Hopefully, with continued effort, the future will hold freedom for these amazing creatures.