(SEAWORLD) In response to Magnolia Picture’s latest documentary, Blackfish, SeaWorld Entertainment is embarking on an aggressive PR campaign against the film. Not only did SeaWorld send a detailed critique of the documentary focusing on the dangers of keeping orcas in captivity to nearly 50 film critics, but the company has also provided top executives and animal caretakers with interviews about the movie’s alleged flaws. Advised by the communications firm 42West, SeaWorld—whose executives resisted director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s repeated requests for interviews—claims Blackfish exceeded the bounds of fair use, while positioning scenes as misleading and inaccurate. However, Cowperthwaite claims she initiated the project with an open mind, and only slowly did she learn captive orcas may be driven to abnormal, violent behavior.

Yet many are wondering whether SeaWorld’s pushback against Blackfish will actually promote a film that would presumably only be seen by a small number of those who actually visit the marine parks. SeaWorld executives said they recognized these risks but strongly felt the film “belittled their mission.” Time and time again, SeaWorld has claimed that without access to viewing the whales in-person, humans would be denied a connection to these beautiful, intelligent animals. However, it’s become more than clear that the capture and training of animals is no longer necessary to call attention to their plight. Not to mention, many argue that objectifying living beings in this manner has a detrimental effect on the development of empathy in our youth. Read the New York Times article at the link below to learn more about the conflict between SeaWorld and Blackfish, and see the film’s trailer for yourself. — Global Animal

Photo Credit: Chris Gotshall/AP Photo
A SeaWorld Orlando trainer and Florida school children interact with a killer whale in this March 2006 file photo. Photo Credit: Chris Gotshall/AP Photo

New York Times, Michael Cieply

Read the New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/business/media/seaworlds-unusual-retort-to-a-critical-documentary.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&hp

Watch the Blackfish trailer below.

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