After many months of back and forth between SeaWorld and the makers of the eye-opening documentary, “Blackfish,” filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite invited the powers that be at the marine park to an open discussion about the treatment of animals and trainers at their business. SeaWorld turned down opportunities to participate in the actual film, and they again have turned down this opportunity to discuss what’s going on at their amusement park.
Cowperthwaite stated via The Dodo on Wednesday: “We challenge SeaWorld to debate these issues with our teams in a public forum, which we will be happy to arrange. Throughout the production and theatrical release of “Blackfish,” SeaWorld has refused to directly engage with the film or its points in any public way, despite repeated invitations. Instead of releasing more PR spin, written statements and online critiques (which often allow no comments), we encourage SeaWorld’s leaders to step forward and address these issues openly and honestly in public debate. Let the public hear both sides of the argument (as we have always desired) and draw their own conclusions.”
Sounds fair, right? Two days later, SeaWorld replied. Fred Jacobs, vice president for corporate communications at SeaWorld, claims that the invitation to dialogue is nothing but a publicity stunt. Jacobs told the San Antonio Express-News, “We have no interest in helping promote a film this dishonest and manipulative.”
After hearing about SeaWorld’s decline to participate, the Oceanic Preservation Society tweeted: “We are not surprised.” Yeah, neither are we.
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