Hollywood producer Sam Simon and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson organized a news conference Tuesday outside the building where the Canadian Sealers Association has an office. CBC
The president of the Canadian Sealers Association says the latest move by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to end the seal hunt is nothing but a farce and a publicity stunt.
Actor Pamela Anderson and Sam Simon, a co-creator of the The Simpsons, delivered an oversized cheque for $1 million to the sealers association's office in St. John's, with Simon reading out a letter addressed to association president Eldred Woodford.
Woodford, though, was not at the office — largely because he was at his home in Herring Neck, an outport on Newfoundland's northeast coast.
"They must have assumed that everyone in Newfoundland must live in St. John's. I live five hours away from St. John's," Woodford told CBC News.
"They never contacted me personally to see if I was going to accept or deny their request."
Anderson and Simon, who were accompanied by a PETA campaign co-ordinator, slipped the stunt cheque under the sealers association's door when no one opened it for them.
Simon made the pledge through his charitable foundation. The offer was contingent on the association agreeing to negotiate the end of the seal hunt with the Canadian government.
Woodford said the association would never entertain such a buyout, from any source.
'Big media hype'
"This is a big media hype on the backs of the sealing industry to try to raise more funds for the animal rights groups," he said in an industry.
"It's crazy for anyone to think that you can buy out an industry for a million dollars … I don't make much of it, to tell you the truth, other than an annual fundraiser for PETA," he said. "It was pretty much a big farce."
Simon and Anderson said sealers should recognize their industry is dying, and that they should hasten its demise now.
The sealers association's office is inside a building owned by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW). Many of its members also hunt seals to complement their income.
FFAW president Earle McCurdy, among a group of people who heckled Simon and Anderson as they spoke with reporters outside the union building, said he thought the move by the two celebrities was "obnoxious," particularly in its assumption that sealers would leap at an offer that works out to about $165 per sealer.
"They came over to our building [with] a million-dollar cheque and somehow thought that because ... they're celebrities who have lots of money, that somehow we [should] just say, 'Thank you very much,' and tip our cap," said McCurdy.