By VERENA DOBNIK
NEW YORK — Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is awash in animal-related protests because of its floats, with controversies involving the unlikely pairing of rocker Joan Jett and Shamu the killer whale.
Activists plan to line the route of next week’s parade to protest a SeaWorld float because of accusations in a new documentary the theme parks treat whales badly. And ranchers succeeded in getting Jett pulled off the South Dakota tourism float after they questioned why the vegetarian and animal-rights ally was representing their beef-loving state.
The float flaps threaten to shake Macy’s traditional position of staying out of politics and soaring silently above the fray.
“The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate or other forms of advocacy,” Cincinnati-based Macy’s Inc. said in a statement this week.
It was in that spirit parade executive producer Amy Kule said Tuesday the SeaWorld float is staying.
“There is no controversy,” she said. “Our goal is to entertain, and that is their goal, as well.”