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Actor, Not Fish, Should Have Been Used for Asthma Ad

Perhaps you’ve seen the 30-second television commercial included above. In it, a child’s voice, describing what it’s like to experience an asthma attack, says, “I feel like a fish with no water.” The voice-over plays while an actual fish out of water struggles to breathe.

The ad was produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which insists that “no fish were harmed during the making of this public service announcement. Fish handlers were present at all times during the shoot to manage the care and well being of the fish on hand.” That same language appears on the website to which viewers are directed,

The EPA’s claim that “no fish were harmed” is as absurd as it is insulting. The fish in the ad is struggling to breatheThat’s the whole goddamned point.

The creeps behind the PSA tortured a fish to show people what it’s like to struggle for breath and then hid behind a pile of total nonsense.

Obviously, the heartless bastards who created the ad weren’t about to film and show a child having an asthma attack. They chose instead to cause another species to suffer, needlessly, and for that they ought to be ashamed. The very inclusion of the above-mentioned disclaimer is an acknowledgment of exploitation. The language itself is an outright lie. The fish in the commercial certainly isn’t acting — which begs this question: Why didn’t the folks who made the PSA simply hire an actor?


  1. MaureenFudger wrote:

    I have to change channels when ad comes on. Hell, I have asthma and would’ve done demo for free rather than traumatize fish.

    Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 4:53 am | Permalink
  2. Laura wrote:

    I agree that this commercial is barbaric and is claiming to promote asthma awareness while ignoring the issue of animal cruelty. As someone who suffers from asthma regularly, I could easily have shown what it’s really like to have an asthma attack, and not hire some supposes child actor who has no clue. This commercial should not be aired anymore!

    Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
  3. Marshall Lee wrote:

    The horrendous commercial first started airing in 2001 as the campaign launched. It was very disturbing. I’d take GSK’s Amy Van Dyken asthma commercial from 2002 over this disturbing ad that has animal cruelty in it.

    Friday, April 21, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

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