Blackfish Backlash

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Nicole

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Inevitable, I suppose.

Sigh.

From CNN:

(CNN) -- Barenaked Ladies have nixed their plans to play at SeaWorld after viewing CNN's "Blackfish" documentary.

"This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time," the band said on a Facebook post late Wednesday night.

"The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it."

A park spokesman told CNN that the show has been taken off the theme park's concert schedule.

The decision to cancel the Canadian rock band's performance came two days after drummer Tyler Stewart posted a tweet saying the group is "looking at options" after viewing the documentary.

The documentary -- which aired on CNN last month -- tells the story of the SeaWorld trainer who was killed in 2010 by an orca named Tilikum.

Fans launched an online petition last week asking the group to cancel after the Barenaked Ladies announced it would perform at SeaWorld's Orlando park on February 15, 2014, during its "Bands, Brew & BBQ" events.

Mike Garrett of St. Catharines, Canada, posted the petition on Change.org asking band members to watch "Blackfish" and "learn how SeaWorld and other captive display facilities such as Marineland in Niagara Falls have for decades exploited marine mammals solely for profit."

Garrett said he was "disappointed" when he heard the group was scheduled to play there "in light of all the horrific information we're learning."

"I'm hoping to grab the band's attention on this issue and ask them, on behalf of all their animal-loving fans, to reconsider performing there," Garrett wrote. His petition had gained more than 9,200 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

It worked.

"We here at Barenaked Ladies have made a decision based on what we feel. It's not about money, or petitions, or press... But it is about our fans," the band said Wednesday night. "We listen to them, and they're important to us."

The park's website does not list Barenaked Ladies on the schedule. February 15 and four other weekend dates just say "Coming Soon."

Acts that are listed on the calendar include Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, 38 Special, Justin Moore and Scotty McCreery.
 
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Joe

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RE: Barenaked Ladies' SeaWorld gig is off after viewing 'Blackfish'

This is so sad for the park, but I can't blame the band. It would destroy their publicity if they went through with it, just because of all the bad rap the park has received right now. :(
 
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Nicole

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RE: Barenaked Ladies' SeaWorld gig is off after viewing 'Blackfish'

Or, the band could research the "complicated issue" and make a decision based on what they believe the unbiased facts are, rather than canceling merely because of fan pressure. The reason this type of "journalism" is so successful, is that people never question or research what they have been told. People like being self-righteously offended. And it takes courage to contradict that kind of emotional response.

If they do the research and agree with the petition, then fine, they should cancel. If, however, they don't agree with the conclusions, they have the ability to explain theirs views to their fans. Open and intelligent debate can only be a good thing.
 

Zachary

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RE: Barenaked Ladies' SeaWorld gig is off after viewing 'Blackfish'

I still think SEAS has a lot of explaining to do about some of the things depicted in Blackfish and I fear we're going to keep seeing stuff like this hit the news until they can work up a proper response/defense.
 

Nicole

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SeaWorld frees Willie Nelson from concert contract amid 'Blackfish' controversy

This report probably should be consolidated and renamed with the Barenaked Ladies thread.

The exodus continues:

CNN article

(CNN) -- Willie Nelson is the latest act to cancel a concert at Orlando's SeaWorld in the wake of CNN's "Blackfish" documentary.

The legendary country singer's decision comes after the Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies pulled the plug on their show at the Florida theme park.

As with the Barenaked Ladies decision, Nelson's cancellation may have been a response to an online petition started by fans on Change.org.

"As a fan who respects his activism for animals, the environment, and other good causes, I find this very disappointing," Danielle Legg of Amherst, New York, wrote in her petition. "If you've seen the documentary Blackfish, you know why it's so surprising. Please tell Willie Nelson you do not want him to support SeaWorld's animal cruelty."

The petition gathered 9,000 signatures.

SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck confirmed Nelson's decision not to sing at SeaWorld, but he cited reasons other than the documentary and petition.

"Due to scheduling conflicts, Willie Nelson will not be appearing at SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ event in 2014," Gollattscheck said in a statement e-mailed to CNN Thursday night.

Nelson and his representatives did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

When the Barenaked Ladies nixed their plans to play at SeaWorld last week, they explained that it was a decision made after viewing "Blackfish."

"This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time," the band said on a Facebook post.

"The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it."

SeaWorld responds to questions about captive orcas, 'Blackfish' film

A park spokesman told CNN that the Barenaked Ladies show had been taken off the theme park's concert schedule.

The decision to cancel the band's performance came two days after drummer Tyler Stewart posted a tweet saying the group is "looking at options" after viewing the documentary.

The documentary -- which first aired on CNN in October -- tells the story of the SeaWorld trainer who was killed in 2010 by an orca named Tilikum.

Fans launched an online petition asking the Barenaked Ladies to cancel. The group had just announced it would perform at SeaWorld's Orlando park on February 15 during its "Bands, Brew & BBQ" events.

Mike Garrett of St. Catharines, Ontario, posted the petition on Change.org asking band members to watch "Blackfish" and "learn how SeaWorld and other captive display facilities such as Marineland in Niagara Falls have for decades exploited marine mammals solely for profit."

Garrett said he was "disappointed" when he heard the group was scheduled to play there "in light of all the horrific information we're learning."

"I'm hoping to grab the band's attention on this issue and ask them, on behalf of all their animal-loving fans, to reconsider performing there," Garrett wrote. His petition gained more than 9,200 signatures.

It worked.

"We here at Barenaked Ladies have made a decision based on what we feel. It's not about money, or petitions, or press... But it is about our fans," the band said November 27. "We listen to them, and they're important to us."

The park's website does not list Barenaked Ladies on the schedule. February 15 and four other weekend dates just say "Coming Soon."

Acts that are still listed on the calendar include Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, 38 Special, Justin Moore and Scotty McCreery.
 
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Aug 31, 2013
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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

-_- How long is this bulls*** going to keep up before the idiots calm themselves and this ridiculous trend ends? Seriously, making websites to close down a theme park is utterly immature, stupid, and degrading.
 
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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

Zachary said:
Ouch. :-/
It's not ouch, it's ridiculous, it's despicable.

This is ridiculous, they're making decisions based on what other's think? I'll go sing for them if they need me to. I will always support SeaWorld and what it does to help animals, that otherwise wouldn't get that help. This is becoming a bunch of BS.
 
Nov 7, 2013
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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

So bring those acts to Busch Gardens and we actually have more than only 4 weeks of Bands Brew and Barbeque
 
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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

I would like to point out that SeaWorld has made some response to the movie and answered a few questions. The real problem is they are not putting much effort into getting their response heard by a huge audience.

The first quote is taken from CK's posted article. The second quote is an entire other article about the park's response.

For its part, SeaWorld says the documentary ignores the park's conservation efforts and research.
"'Blackfish' focuses on a handful of incidents over our long history at the exclusion of everything else," wrote Michael Scarpuzzi, vice president for zoological operations at San Diego SeaWorld, in an op-ed on CNN.com. "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."
(CNN) -- This week, CNN will present the premiere of "Blackfish," a documentary that traces the history of killer whales in captivity leading up to the 2010 killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by Tilikum, an orca previously associated with the death of two other people.
SeaWorld has been critical of the film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, issuing this statement to CNN:
"Blackfish is billed as a documentary, but instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and, regrettably, exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau's family, friends and colleagues. To promote its bias that killer whales should not be maintained in a zoological setting, the film paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld -- among them, that SeaWorld is one of the world's most respected zoological institutions, that SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year, and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research. Perhaps most important, the film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals, as demonstrated by the company's continual refinement and improvement to its killer whale facilities, equipment and procedures both before and after the death of Dawn Brancheau."
SeaWorld declined CNN's requests to be interviewed on camera. However, Vice President of Communications Fred Jacobs agreed to answer some questions about the controversy over the film and about keeping orcas in captivity.
History of killer whale capture The truth behind orcas in captivity
Here are Jacobs' unedited responses to CNN's questions:
CNN: In your statement, SeaWorld notes that Blackfish "withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld," including that SeaWorld has rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to the wild hundreds of wild animals: Do any of those animals include orcas?
SeaWorld: Yes, though killer whales do not beach with the same frequency as other species and when they do it is typically a last ditch effort at survival. Killer whales, like all stranded marine mammals, are generally gravely ill, injured, malnourished, dehydrated, very old or very young, and do not survive long on shore. Nonetheless, we've assisted whales many times, including killer whales. The largest whale to ever be rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild -- J.J. the orphaned gray whale calf -- was part of our rescue program. (See the attached paper from a biologist at the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (PDF).) You can read about our role in rescuing killer whales from Barnes Lake in Alaska here and our role in rescuing a killer whale named Springer here. We also assisted our colleagues at Dolfinarium in Holland with veterinary care and husbandry for an orphaned and hearing-impaired juvenile killer whale they rescued. SeaWorld was part of the team to help Luna, as well as a young killer whale stranded near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. We also are regularly called upon to do pathology on beached whales that do not survive.
CNN: What kind of rehabilitation and rescue efforts does SeaWorld provide for orcas?
SeaWorld: See the answer above. I should stress that the goal of our rescue program is the rehabilitation of an animal in need so that it can be successfully reintroduced to the wild. That occurs hundreds of times each year. Just this week we released a beached common dolphin that was rescued and rehabilitated by our park in San Diego. There are few organizations in the world that rescue more animals than we do: more than 23,000 since the program's inception.
CNN: What are the benefits to keeping orcas in captivity?
SeaWorld: The primary benefits are identical for any species in any accredited zoological institution: education and science. At SeaWorld more than 11 million people each year (hundreds of millions since our first park opened its gates in 1964) have experienced killer whales in a way that is personal, enriching and inspirational. Learn more here. It is our hope that every person who has visited SeaWorld leaves with a greater understanding of and appreciation for all the animals we display, including killer whales. I have attached two documents that outline some of our peer-reviewed contributions to the scientific understanding of killer whales. Note that this is just killer whales. We have similar bibliographies for many of the species living at SeaWorld.
CNN: Many marine biologists and animal ethicists believe that orcas should not be kept in captivity because they are designed to travel hundreds of miles each day. Do you think the exposure that SeaWorld provides to millions of people who might not otherwise see a killer whale outweighs these concerns about impact of captivity on orcas?
SeaWorld: While a killer whale can and occasionally might travel as much as 100 miles in a day, it should be said that swimming that distance is not integral to a whale's health and well-being. It is likely foraging behavior. Given the challenge of finding and killing as much as 300 pounds of prey every day, killer whales in the wild -- like any species -- conserve energy and move only as much as necessary. Killer whales living in our parks are given all the food they require. They also exercise, receive veterinary care, live in the company of other members of their species, and receive mental stimulation. They adapt very well to life in a zoological setting. I should also note that the overwhelming majority of killer whales in our parks were born in the care of man.
CNN: What specifically have we learned about captive orcas that has benefited marine biology and applies to orcas in the wild?
SeaWorld: Please see the attached bibliographies (Here and here - PDFs). Much of what is known about the killer whale's anatomy, reproductive biology and capacity to learn was learned at SeaWorld and other accredited zoological institutions.
CNN: SeaWorld trainer and Vice President Michael Scarpuzzi notes the "millions of safe interactions we have had with killer whales" in the past 50 years. Does SeaWorld intend to put trainers back into the water with its killer whales?
SeaWorld: Trainers enter the water only as part of in-water safety desensitization training. You can learn more about that process here. Our trainers have not entered the water for performances since February 2010 and we have no plans for them to return to that kind of interaction with our whales.
CNN: How's Tilikum doing today? Is he participating in any of SeaWorld's shows?
SeaWorld: He is doing well for a killer whale that is more than 30 years old. He interacts with other whales and our zoological staff and he makes regular public appearances.
CNN: What are SeaWorld's thoughts on sea pens as an alternative solution where humans can not only study and research killer whales, but enjoy them as well?
SeaWorld: Sea pens can be effective for transitioning a rescued animal back to life in the open ocean, but they are not appropriate for long-term care. Our killer whale habitats are the largest and most sophisticated ever constructed for a marine mammal: 7 million gallons of continually filtered and chilled water. They provide an environment that allows us to properly care for, display and study the animals.
CNN: How is SeaWorld's current park attendance compared to last year? Whether you've seen an incline or a decline, what do you attribute that to?
SeaWorld: Our attendance is good. In fact, we are on pace for a record year in 2013. Learn more here.
 

Ben

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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

Can't really blame the band at all. Their goal is to make money and having bad publicity over performing at Seaworld might cause them to lose money
 
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Nicole

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RE: SeaWorld Concert Series Lineup Shrinking Due to 'Blackfish'

The bands have their own "bully pulpit." The could easily explain themselves to their fans, if they wanted to.
 
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