By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire December 25, 2013 at 11:22AM
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 attention. 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