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Feb 9, 2013
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Tonight Blackfish will be airing on CNN, at 9:00 PM eastern time. I wouldn't recommend watching it, truthfully some of the assumptions they make are bogus. But by all means if you want to, go ahead. I've seen it, and it's very boring, and there are a lot of assumptions without facts.

And the even bigger point in this post is that SeaWorld is going to get a lot of bad publicity, since it is airing on National TV.
 
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Dec 23, 2011
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RE: Blackfish airing on National TV

Don't mind if I do watch. I just want to see the movie and get my own thoughts together. Although, I know what to expect.
 

Zachary

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RE: Blackfish airing on National TV

I don't know how SeaWorld responds to this. Just the sheer amount of video they have is, frankly, shocking.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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RE: Blackfish airing on National TV

I am missing it or missed it. Maybe it just wasn't meant for me to view.
 

Zachary

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RE: Blackfish airing on National TV

I'm actually rewatching it now. There's a whole lot of seemingly damning stuff in here- even in the Anheuser-Busch days.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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RE: Blackfish airing on National TV

I guess I'll have to watch the entire thing, but I know in the trailer they misrepresented some stuff about the biology of whales. Not to mention there are quite a few positive aspects to keeping animals an captivity. Ideally, we shouldn't have to in a perfect, but if animals are put in danger because of humans, we need to do whatever we can to stir up passion for these creatures. Watching a Whale on Discovery channel isn't as though provoking as seeing it's impressiveness in person.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Jim Atchisons response to Blackfish on CNN.

October 22, 2013

All SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Team Members

BLACKFISH TO AIR ON CNN

CNN Films will air a documentary film called Blackfish October 24 at 9 p.m. EDT. The network also is using its news divisions, Headline News and CNN News, to promote and publicize the film and it is possible that you will see coverage of Blackfish if you haven't already.

As you may know, Blackfish purports to tell the story of one of our killer whales, Tilikum, and the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. As we have said many times since the film premiered in January, Blackfish is inaccurate and misleading to a point where it is more appropriate to call it animal rights propaganda than it is to call it a documentary.

I have attached an essay on Blackfish signed by our head of zoological operations in San Diego, Michael Scarpuzzi. Mike is one of the many long-time SeaWorld team members who knew Dawn and who were deeply affected by her loss. Mike writes not just of the untruths in Blackfish, but more importantly what the film chooses to ignore: More than five decades of providing the finest care to our animals, the most enriching and educational experiences to our guests, and our significant contributions to marine science, wildlife conservation and animal rescue. There isn't a single reference in the film to our commitment to guest and employee safety or to the welfare of our animals.

I should note also that the film features interviews with a "cast" that includes several former SeaWorld trainers. It is regrettable that some of these individuals are eager to misrepresent their experiences working for us. We don't know what their motivation is, but it's important that you know the truth. Some of these individuals never worked with Tilikum and some never worked with killer whales at all. Perhaps the most vocal of these trainers was terminated from SeaWorld nearly two decades ago. Much of what these people say about SeaWorld is uninformed speculation and it is wrong.

If you are asked about the film by family or friends, please encourage them to learn about the great things SeaWorld does every day at www.SeaWorldCares.com. If you have any questions yourselves, please contact our communications department at Corp.Communications@SeaWorld.com.

Thank you.

Jim Atchison


By Michael Scarpuzzi

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2010, a SeaWorld Orlando trainer lost her life in a tragic accident involving one of the park's killer whales. The death of Dawn Brancheau was an occasion of almost unbearable sadness for those closest to Dawn — her family, friends and colleagues at SeaWorld. I was honored to know Dawn and count myself among those SeaWorld team members deeply affected by her loss.

Dawn's death has been the subject of thousands of articles, broadcast news stories, blogs, books, and now a feature film called Blackfish. Many of these accounts trade in the details of Dawn's death in graphic detail. They do so not to inform but, rather, regrettably, because of the desire to sensationalize. The three years since Dawn's death have seen the emergence of individuals who have chosen not to honor her memory, but rather to use the events of Feb. 24, 2010 to advance their own interests. Some seek commercial gain. Others seek to forward a political or philosophical agenda. Still others appear to be engaged in self-promotion.

But anyone approaching this subject in good faith must recognize a simple fact: Our staff has interacted with killer whales — for veterinary care, training, shows, educational presentations, husbandry, exercise, play and enrichment — hundreds of times a day for nearly 50 years. The tragedy of Dawn's death cannot and has not been ignored, but neither should the literally millions of safe interactions we have had with killer whales over that span of time. Blackfish focuses on a handful of incidents over our long history at the exclusion of everything else. Not a single interview with a guest who was inspired and enriched by their experience with killer whales at SeaWorld. Not one visitor who left SeaWorld more aware of the need to preserve the world around them. Not one word about the thousands of ill, orphaned and injured animals rescued by SeaWorld or the millions of dollars we dedicate to supporting conservation and research. There is no acknowledgment anywhere in the film of the great things SeaWorld does every day or the simple fact that our animals are healthy and passionately cared for.

I started at Sea World in 1975 and have witnessed the growth and changes that come with a company that is dedicated to understanding these magnificent animals. We have collected invaluable information about these animals that could not be obtained from observation in the wild. In the three years since Dawn's death, we have again made significant changes at SeaWorld. We have altered how we care for, display and train these extraordinary animals. We have changed the facilities, equipment and procedures at our killer whale habitats. The care and educational presentation of these animals at SeaWorld has been made safer than ever before. Does Blackfish inform its viewers of that fact? No, it does not. And by that omission the film reveals itself not as a work of objective documentary filmmaking, but rather as something closer to propaganda. As we have said many times, there is simply no higher priority for us than the safety of our guests and staff and the welfare of our animals.

We understand that there will always be individuals and groups opposed to the care of animals in zoos and aquariums. We recognize that we must defend what we do and the manner in which we do it. Blackfish, like other works driven by the same agenda, ignores the extraordinary benefits to conservation, scientific research and education of America's zoo and aquariums. But through it all SeaWorld remains the world's most respected marine zoological institution. Our parks are staffed with skilled and caring zoological professionals, all of whom deserve to have their work celebrated, not dishonored by things like Blackfish.

Despite what the makers of this film may suggest, SeaWorld is the kind of organization that draws dedicated and passionate people like Dawn Brancheau. These are the men and women who have built SeaWorld into an extraordinary place, one that provides inspiring, enriching and educational experiences to more than 11 million people each year. That, not the inaccurate and shamefully misleading account in Blackfish, is what SeaWorld really is.

Scarpuzzi, who has been caring for and training killer whales for nearly 40 years, is the vice president of zoological operations for SeaWorld San Diego.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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So far there is one review on BGW's FB page that says they won't support BGW anymore because of their affiliation with Sea World and then in all caps, BLACKFISH.

Otherwise, Blackfish hasn't hurt BGW noticeably at all.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Aha! Another very rare Blackfish reference on BGW's FB page.

So sad, our annual treks to Hallowscream are at an end...our children don't want to go some place that keeps orcas whales in captivity and puts their employees in danger.

Yes I am sure your children are making the decision to not go, and you a merely just respecting their wishes. Probably more like you won't let them go because of your opinions.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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I hate these people. They post things that they are minimally informed on, and frankly know nothing about. By next year we all will have forgotten about this stuff and no body will care any more. I'm sick and tired of all this crap(excuse my French). And how much you want to bet that they will be there the day Howl-o-scream opens next year. They're listening to a bias documentary with half truths and botched films, no wonder people are so gullible.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Something that I found interesting, Jim Atchison visited BGW one day after SeaWorld has rescued some animals. Their recuse took hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jim went over to Carl Lum and asked him, "What is BGW's budget for saving animals?" Carl responded by saying there is no budget - whatever it takes.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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Party Rocker said:
Jim went over to Carl Lum and asked him, "What is BGW's budget for saving animals?" Carl responded by saying there is no budget - whatever it takes.

That, folks, is why I still love the park. :)
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Party Rocker said:
Something that I found interesting, Jim Atchison visited BGW one day after SeaWorld has rescued some animals. Their recuse took hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jim went over to Carl Lum and asked him, "What is BGW's budget for saving animals?" Carl responded by saying there is no budget - whatever it takes.

There is no budget for BGW to rescue and save animals. SeaWorld Parks does not either; it is a different area of the company that operates out of SeaWorld Parks. BGW does not have any operations for that area.
 
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