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Makers of ‘The Cove’ Respond to SeaWorld’s ‘Blackfish’ Ad: We Don’t Buy It

Makers of 'The Cove' Respond to SeaWorld's 'Blackfish' Ad: We Don't Buy It

SeaWorld is understandably defensive about “Blackfish,” the highly acclaimed documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwaite that reveals the dangerous truth about the risks involving orcas held captive. The film has prompted various online petitions demanding that the park release its orcas and a variety of musical acts have cancelled their upcoming SeaWorld shows.

As Indiewire reported, SeaWorld took out full page ads in major papers around the country on Friday defending itself against allegations made in the documentary, which has been shortlisted for a best documentary Academy Award.

The ad’s first two bullet points counter the arguments made in “Blackfish,” but don’t actually name the film, saying “SeaWorld does not capture killer whales in the wild.” and “We do not separate killer whale moms and calves.”  

But the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) — an organization made up of individuals responsible for the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” is circulating a rebuttal to SeaWorld’s claims. Below is an excerpt from their letter, which you can read in its entirety here.

SeaWorld is afraid that the truth about captivity is spreading, especially since the release of the film Blackfish. The open letter advertisement placed by SeaWorld is
in response to
Blackfish, but steers clear of the title for fear of bringing the film further
Blackfish has already been seen by over 20 million people, has been shortlisted
for an Oscar, and is negatively impacting SeaWorld’s public image and bottom line. Its
stock price has dropped as much as 30% since the release of
Blackfish, its CEO and
institutional investors have dumped tens of millions of shares, eight internationally
renowned musical acts have cancelled performances at the park, and the company has
resorted to recruiting visitors with Groupon deals to boost failing attendance. 

Public pressure against SeaWorld seems to mount, the question is: will SeaWorld make real changes to the dangerous policies depicted in “Blackfish?” or will this very public battle continue

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Karen below, you're an idiot. A complete and utter idiot.


Animals freed to what??? Oil spills and poachers that love to kill dolphins for the hell of it?! I'm sure the people that work at Sea World and other places like this are passionate about what they are doing and take a lot of TLC in their animals that entertain. What is the problem? None of us get to see dolphins unless we go to these places and they are beautiful creatures to watch…. What about Zoo's? Are you going to close them down too. We had our Sea World closed down a couple of years ago. Has anyone bothered to check up on what happened to the dolphins and if they are still alive??
No! Because all you guys were interested in was their freedom and forgot to follow up on them!
If anything, they were much safer in those environments than out in the wild….


Does this article really end with the punctuation seven words before the end of the sentence?


1. I'm sure some sex traffickers have families to feed as well. That doesn't make what they do right.
2. Yes, circuses, rodeos, etc. should be drastically changed or banned as well. This is a commonly held idea by most people who care about stopping cruelty towards animals. I don't know why you would assume otherwise.

Christopher Michael

I have a family member who works at Seaworld. Have any of the protesters stopped to ask what would happen to the humans with families that would be adversely affected if Sea World were to "empty the tanks" and close?
Also why don't you protest Walt Disney World? At Epcot's the Living Seas they also have marine mammals in captivity. Oh that's right there wasn't a "documentary" about them and you armchair activists looking for the next bandwagon to jump on didn't research that.
Do you also demand that rodeos and circuses be closed as well? Because thier animals are in much worse situations than any at Sea world.

Brian Greer

What if Sea World decided to go vegan with their park food? More animals are killed to fill meat eaters stomachs than are ever captured or harmed for theme parks. I think that would really turn this fight on its side.


please stop using dolphins and whales as toys…they don't belong to humans, they belong to the oceans where they have to live free and safe. They are not on earth to live in tiny tanks and making tricks for dead fishes, you speak about preservation but you act only for money!!!

Richard Osborne

SeaWorlds ad blatantly contains lies. The certainly have in the past separated Orca mom and calf. It's well documented, independent from Blackfish the movie. If they lie about this, what other lies are they telling? A multi billion dollar company that truly cares for it animals would change its business model and release Orca / Dolphins in to large coves and care for them there and actually promote education (the Orca's could never be fully released, unfortunately.) Nothing is learnt from intelligent animals that perform tricks for food, who live bland tiny tanks. Sea World I do not buy it!



Theresa Pugh

Empty the tanks. Free Tily before he dies! $eaworld is a money making maching with little or no compassion for the Cetaceans they imprision is concrete tubs. Orcas's are meant to swim free in the ocean, not put on clown shows for our entertainment. Thank you "The Cove" for caring and your awesome letter. Thank you for all your great work in Taiji to stop the brutal Dolphin slaughter. We are Blackfish!!!!!

Traci Wilson

Thank you for posting the fact based OPS rebuttal to Seaworlds lie filled ad. We must remember when reading anything having to do with this "battle" that agencies like OPS and individuals involved in this fight to free the amusement park mammals have NOTHING TO GAIN financially…in fact they are/will be losing financially to help these creatures. Seaworld on the other hand feels they will be losing millions if not billions of dollars in doing the right thing. Who do you think will be more inclined to lie and twist the facts to turn the public? Its torture of the innocent to serve greed. Please support the release of these intelligent creatures who need us to help.

Teresa Wagner

Thank you for publishing this fact filled rebuttal to SeaWorld's ad which was filled with misinformation and lies. The OPS letter clarifies the truth. I'm curious to see when SeaWorld will give up their arrogance and belief that their dissenters have no power and will go way or give up. We will never give up or go away.

SeaWorld, it's time to change your business model. Release the whales and dolphins to sea pens, and millions of cetacean lovers and activists will embrace you and help you. But as long as you dig in your heals keep these magnificent beings captive, we will never, ever, ever, ever stop working to educate the public about captivity and to empty your seats. We have a secret weapon that you don't: passion and love. And these are far stronger than greed.

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