SeaWorld isn’t having a whale of time anymore, and it seems that the controversial documentary, ‘Blackfish,’ is the one to thank.
Shares of the marine life theme park plummeted Wednesday — nearly 33% — eradicating $832 million from shareholder portfolios. According to CNN Money, SeaWorld Entertainment expects “a revenue drop of 6 to 7% for the year,” which is a lot worse than Wall Street forecasters had predicted. In fact, some investors expected a revenue jump for 2014.
So what happened? It looks like ‘Blackfish’ backlash happened.
Many wondered if the award-winning documentary about the on-going mistreatment of orcas at SeaWorld’s amusement parks would have an economical impact on SeaWorld. Initially, the theme park was silent about the film’s allegations, believing the controversy would blow over. But something definitely smelled fishy when its PR went into overdrive, creating “The Truth About Blackfish,” to reassure investors there was nothing to worry about.
Then, with the news of its sinking stock, SeaWorld, through a press release, finally admitted for the first time that ‘Blackfish,’ and the media attention surrounding California’s proposed bill, the “Orca Welfare Safety Act,” may be hurting attendance.
Though SeaWorld is not in danger of shutting its doors forever (yet), the ‘Blackfish’ backlash, including the recent loss of South West Airlines’ support, shows no signs of subsiding.