There’s been a bit of an escalation in the war between Sea World and animal support groups in the past year. Everything from PETA becoming investors when Sea World became a publicly traded to company, (CBS) to the CNN funded film Blackfish, (CNN) the theme park has been fighting the battle of it’s life. The battles have been many and they have been hard fought on both sides, including artists backing out of performances they had agreed to at Sea World parks, (DigitalMusicNews) all the way down to Joan Jett sending a Cease and Desist order to the parks in order to stop their use of her song “I Love Rock ‘ Roll” during their Shamu Rocks shows. (PETA) With all of this swirling around, Sea World hasn’t just leaned back and taken the shots, they’ve recruited replacement artists for their events, (TBO.com) in some cases people have said the replacements were better choices than the originals. Recently people who were originally associated with the Blackfish film have been coming out against it, stating that it’s actually being twisted and distorted in the hopes of winning awards, some even stating that the video used was actually them and not the person that the film claimed. (SeaWorld)
There has been a bit of a turn in the battle against Sea World and the Blackfish film in recent weeks, with even the family of the Dawn Brancheau chastising the film as nothing more than an attempted awards grab by the director. (OrlandoSentinel) The family states that there’s no way that Dawn would have worked for the park for 15 years if she felt the animals were being treated poorly, they also state they support their daughter’s former co-workers who still work at the park. (WPTV) Sea World has added another name to their support list, Bindi Irwin, the daughter of one of the greatest champions of animal conservation, Steve Irwin. (YouTube) This has set off a bit of a firestorm on the internet in response to her major announcement. (HuffingtonPost) There has even been a petition started in the hopes of getting Bindi to walk away from Sea World and her new post as the face of their new “Generation Nature” initiative. (ThePetitionSite) Between this latest assault and the proposed bill in California that would ban Orca shows, Sea World’s battle is far from over. (USAToday) All this has actually led to one interesting side effect, there’s an old saying that controversy creates cash, and Sea World is riding that as they’ve posted record profits this year in the midst of their troubles. (WashingtonTimes) Only time will tell where this leads, but it’ll certainly be an interesting ride.