SeaWorld Calls Blackfish “Shamefully Dishonest”

Written by on July 18, 2013 in Other News
An orca performing in the "Believe" show at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009.

An orca performing in the “Believe” show at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009. Photo credit: Magda Stremeski via photopin cc.

Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, is a documentary that tells the story of captive orcas and focuses on Tilikum, the orca responsible for the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 and associated with two other deaths. Blackfish is set for release this Friday and SeaWorld recently made it known that it is not happy about it.

Over the weekend, SeaWorld representatives emailed about 50 film critics, calling the documentary “shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading, and scientifically inaccurate.” In response, the filmmakers reminded everyone that SeaWorld representatives declined to be interview for the film.

You can read the letter from SeaWorld’s Vice President of Communications Fred Jacobs here. I encourage you to read the letter and the response from the filmmakers and to see the film when it is released so you can decide for yourself if Blackfish paints an accurate picture of the life of captive orcas, or, as SeaWorld says, is full of “egregious and untrue allegations.” (Update — Did SeaWorld register several domain names to counter Blackfish? Maybe…)

Perhaps one thing to keep in mind is that in the wild, there have never been any documented cases of orcas attacking humans. That’s something that Cowperthwaite mentions in an interview with ABC news. Check it out:

Let’s end on a good note, though. An orca named Springer has showed us that captured orcas can be successfully re-integrated into their pods and live normal lives again. Read Springer’s inspiring story here: First killer whale to be captured and successfully re-integrated into the wild sighted with a calf.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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