Actor James Cromwell charged for SeaWorld protest

Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell has been charged with a misdemeanor after interrupting an orca show at SeaWorld in July.

If convicted, Cromwell — who had roles in “L.A. Confidential,” “The Green Mile” and “Babe” — was accused of trespassing and could be sentenced up to 90 days in prison, fined up to $400, or both. Arraignment documents were filed on Friday in San Diego County Superior Court.

Cromwell previously has said he would serve jail time rather than pay fines in cases related to his actions as an activist.

The trespassing charge stems from a July 24 incident in which Cromwell and six activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a protest during an orca show at SeaWorld San Diego.

In a video posted on PETA’s Facebook’s page, Cromwell, who is 77, appears in a black T-shirt that says “Seaworld Sucks” and stood in front of six protesters who held signs reading “SeaWorld Kills.” At one, point a person threw a beverage at the group.

Using a small megaphone, Cromwell shouted about the differences between the lives of orcas in captivity and those in open water.

“Here, they do not swim with their families, they are separated from them,” Cromwell said. Moments later two security guards approached.

The protesters linked arms, but security removed them one at a time from the arena. All seven were cited and released.

joshua.stewart@sduniontribune.com

Stewart writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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