Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell has been charged with trespassing for interrupting and denouncing an orca show at SeaWorld in San Diego.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that the misdemeanour charge could mean 90 days in jail or a fine up to $400, if he’s convicted.
Cromwell, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the farmer in Babe, has previously said he would serve jail time rather than pay fines in cases related to his various causes as an activist.
The trespassing charge stems from a July 24 incident where Cromell and six other activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a protest during an orca show at SeaWorld San Diego.
He was wearing a “SeaWorld Sucks” T-shirt when he and the six other activists stood up in front of the Orca Encounter” show at SeaWorld on July 24.
Cromwell told park visitors through a megaphone that SeaWorld was condemning the orcas to premature deaths.
“Here, they do not swim with their families, they are separated from them,” Cromwell said
The protesters were forcibly removed by security. The orca show resumed minutes later.
“Orcas deserve a full life in the ocean, not a life sentence of swimming endless circles until they drop dead from disease,” Cromwell said in a statement. “My friends at PETA and I want SeaWorld to move these intelligent animals to seaside sanctuaries without delay.”
In June, Cromell was sentenced to one week in jail for obstructing traffic during a sit-in to protest the construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in New York in 2015. Cromwell and others involved in the protest were found guilty of disorderly conduct and required to pay $375 in fines and court costs.
Some people involved in that case missed a deadline to pay the penalty and received a seven-day jail sentence.
In 2013, Cromwell was arrested at the University of Wisconsin for protesting the school’s on-site animal testing.
—With files from the Associated Press