Blackfish: SeaWorld goes on Defense, takes out Full-Page Ads

Tilikum in a scene from BLACKFISH, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit Suzanne Allee.

Tilikum in a scene from BLACKFISH, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit Suzanne Allee.


Now that Blackfish is streaming instantly on Netflix, SeaWorld has gone the defensive by taking out full-page ads. Too little, too late.

Where was SeaWorld when the filmmakers reached out for an interview request while they were interviewing people during production? This just smells of trying to save face but it won’t work. Not when celebrities have joined the movement to boycott SeaWorld. Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride, and Heart are just a few of the names that have pulled out of concerts planned at SeaWorld and this is only the beginning.

On Friday, they took out ads in the following papers: New York Times, USA Today, and the Orlando Sentinel. According to IndieWire, these were “an open letter that defended their practices.” The full open letter seen in the ads can be found at SeaWorld’s website.

Filmmakers previously responded to claims earlier this year when SeaWorld went on the defensive.

The fact is, SeaWorld is now facing a public relations battle that they are losing. If they really want to get their image back, they have to show it. No more covering up the facts.

Topics: Blackfish, Entertainment, Movies

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  • xXGrizZ

    Yeah there’s no way seaworld is coming back from this. Between the revelations on how they treat the animals, treat the trainers, and put trainers in dangerous situations without warning them of the danger is nothing less than criminal. I don’t think they have heard the last of it, some people are likely to be going to jail.

  • thefinalword

    I’ve seen Blackfish, and it’s a pretty damning film, of course Seaworld is gonna have public relations issues from now on. I would say Seaworld’s best chance of surviving is to release a film promoting itself, and keep its response to Blackfish short as possible within the film while outlining the points they have already issued to discredit it. Perhaps they should just close down all their parks, free the whales, and cut their losses. I have some vague memories of going to Seaworld when I was a little kid, but I can’t measure any enjoyment I had against the tragedy of the trainer’s deaths. Without a failsafe to stop whales from hurting trainers in place if it ever starts to happen again, I can’t really support the continuation of their business. They are the ones who have been working with whales longer than I’ve been alive. It’s up to them to figure out how to do this.

    • Jack Spice

      Releasing the whales might not ever be an option. There are plenty of orca documentaries available on Youtube that are just as moving as Blackfish. One of them involves Keiko, (the orca in Free Willy), and the troubles of releasing him. Keiko couldn’t even catch fish

      • thefinalword

        I’ll have to watch that, I remember hearing about it at some point. I’m guessing there could be a way to get whales ready for the wild, such as feeding them live fish. They could start to catch them in captivity right? I’ll watch the documentary before speculating more. Also, in spite of Blackfish, Seaworld isn’t going to throw in the towel unless they get shut down or the business quits being profitable. I’m glad Blackfish was released though, steps will be taken to be better at what they do now that public awareness has been raised.

  • Jake

    Blackfish was a great film, everyone should watch it.

  • Brian Sleider

    Well this will be dicey for Sea World……for about 6 months. Then people will move on and forget.

  • Rehab

    SeaWorld, don’t cater to the hippie-activists, they only have any power if you pay attention to them. They honestly won’t be happy until we are all living in teepees, vegan and we are paying reparations to animals.

    • Eoghan-Tony Dwyer

      That is the stupidest bit of stereotyping I have ever read. Have you even seen Blackfish? This has nothing to do with hippies. You wont be happy until everyone is poor and stupid like you

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