Seaworld’s Response to Blackfish

Eva Gould

Journalism 1



Seaworld’s Response to Blackfish


On July 19, 2013, A documentary called Blackfish was released causing much controversy. The documentary clearly sends the message to the viewers that Seaworld is responsible for many incidents involving aggression in their animals due to being in captivity. Seaworld denies every claim that is made towards them due to their stubborness and greed.

On June 24th, 2017, seaworld responded to the documentary saying “Blackfish is Propaganda, not a Documentary”.  In the article seaworld posted, they first state that “Blackfish employs false and emotionally manipulative sequences concerning the collection and separation of killer whales.” In an interview, former Seaworld orca trainer John Hargrove settles the waters when he explains the traumatizing experience when Seaworld took Takara from mother orca Katasha, proving Seaworlds accusations wrong.  Secondly Seaworld states, “The film relies on former SeaWorld employees, most of whom have little experience with killer whales, and others who haven’t worked at SeaWorld in nearly 20 years.” The question here is, if they were ever seaworld trainers they would have had to take the training first right? So if they had little experience with orcas then maybe they shouldn’t have been employees in the first place.

Next, Seaworld goes to explain that “The film also relies on animal rights activists masquerading as scientists” The question here is where do you have proof that they were pretending to be scientists? It is agreed upon that there were indeed animal rights activists but, why not? They go on to get into the case of Dawn Brancheau’s death “The film spins an entirely fictitious account of Dawn Brancheau’s death in order to advance its anti-captivity narrative.” Even if what the documentary said wasn’t true, why is it that they had originally responded to her death as getting pulled in but her ponytail, and it is her fault for having a ponytail, then why didn’t Seaworld enforce their rules of having hair up in a bun in the first place. If that was even a rule at the time, why didn’t they enforce it?  Then they talk about the accusations of Tilikum being aggressive. “To advance both its anti-captivity narrative and its false theories surrounding Ms. Brancheau’s death, the film falsely suggests that Tilikum had become psychotic and aggressive.” Why is it that Tilikum was the only orca that was responsible for all those deaths? Even if you don’t believe he was, there wasn’t bodies in any of the other orca exhibits in seaworld? Finally, they say that when Tilikum came to Seaworld they didn’t lie to any of the trainers at Seaworld about the incident at Sea Land. “The film falsely suggests that important facts about Tilikum were concealed from his trainers and that SeaWorld is indifferent to trainer safety.” Many of the previous trainers from Seaworld have been interviewed, and when it comes to this question they always say the same thing. “We were never informed of any previous acts of aggression towards trainers.”

In conclusion, we see that all of Seaworld’s hard work to conceal all of the incidents was for nothing. They may be able to lie about the incidents that occured but the number of eyewitnesses and trainers that saw differently, in the end, out rules their accusations.