So Rod Stewart is the latest in a long line of celebrities to stir up seal related outrage in NL. Apparently after the picture of him in a seal skin coat went viral and he found himself being spewed with animal rights venom he had an assistant take to Facebook to tell the world that he does not support the seal hunt and now we are all as mad with him today as Paul Watson was with him yesterday. I get as mad as anyone when celebrities like Pamela Anderson talk about how we are all terrible people for killing poor defenseless seals, but in this case I think we should all put down our torches and pitchforks and lay off poor Rod.
Celebrities in the past have called us things like barbarians, jerks, and cruel. Rod Stewart’s comments were innocuous by comparison. He didn’t launch into any attacks on us or the seal industry, he was freaking out a little that he woke up Sunday morning and found himself the new poster boy for the Canadian sealing industry and had Paul Watson threatening to have him and his jacket dragged off his plane in Heathrow airport. I actually respect that he pointed out that he didn’t know much about the seal industry. Most celebrity critics who live in London or Los Angeles pass themselves off as experts.
Rod Stewart is not Bono; he generally avoids politics and controversy. He didn’t come here to make a statement for or against the seal industry. He came to sing a bunch of songs, kick a few soccer balls into the crowd, take a bag of money and go home. It is fine to be ticked off with him, but it would be unfair to lump him in with other celebrities who are actively working to destroy what’s left of our seal industry.
This is an example of how social media can create enormous controversies out of what would have gone virtually unnoticed the last time Rod Stewart played here. Then, a picture would have been posted in the Telegram, nobody outside of the province would ever see it, and we’d all love the guy. Because of social media, the picture goes viral and is shared among people all over the world. Animal rights activists freaked out. Mr. Stewart probably woke up Sunday morning nursing jet lag and a hangover and freaked out when he learned he was being attacked all over the world for promoting the seal hunt. Then everyone in NL freaked out when his assistant wrote that he didn’t support the seal hunt after all. Maybe we should all just take a moment to relax a little. After all, it was a great show and we will always have that picture.