Naturally the multi-billion dollar corporation will use their deep pockets to once again wrestle the truth from the American people about the treatment of whales at Sea World. They’ve spent twenty years on a carefully executed PR campaign to make people think what was going on at Sea World was perfectly fine. In truth, it is anything but fine. When America’s sweetheart, Trisha Yearwood, canceled her performance there it had to hurt. Thus, today they have launched a VERY expensive ad campaign to try to do some 11th hour damage control. Blackfish has CNN. It might have the Oscar race too (fingers crossed) but SeaWorld has not only unlimited funds but people who generally want to believe that it is one of the happiest places on earth. That SeaWorld is running scared is probably a good thing – it means they are hurting from the bad publicity. Go, Blackfish, go.
SeaWorld would not say how much it spent on the newspaper ads, which could soon be followed by an online campaign. But the move suggests that the company, whose 11 theme parks drew a combined 24.4 million visitors last year, is concerned about potential long-term brand damage from “Blackfish,” a small-budget film that began as an entrant to the Sundance Film Festival in January and was just shortlisted for an Academy Award.
The film chronicles the capture and captivity of Tilikum, the 6-ton killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando who killed trainerDawn Brancheau in February 2010. Although “Blackfish” grossed only about $2.1 million during limited theatrical release this summer, it has repeatedly aired on CNN and this week debuted on Netflix’s popular streaming-video service.