(SEAWORLD/BLACKFISH) The sister-sister rock duo Heart is the latest musical act to cancel an upcoming show at SeaWorld due to questions raised by this year’s documentary, Blackfish.
Guitarist Nancy Wilson confirmed the news in a series of posts on her Twitter page, saying:
“The SeaWorld show was planned long ago as an Orlando show. Had we known, we’d have said no then. We said no today…I am a big Orca fan. I hosted a nature documentary once called ‘Baby Wild’ all about Orcas. I’m happy to stand w/all of u to protect our animals.“
PETA responded via Twitter to the bands’ decision with, “Thank you for taking a stand against animal abuse! The orcas thank you.”
Country star Willie Nelson and Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies also recently canceled shows at SeaWorld in response to the documentary.
The Barenaked Ladies released their decision publicly via Facebook:
“We’ve talked things over, and decided not to play at SeaWorld at this time. We watch movies too, ya know!…This is a complicated issue, and we don’t claim to understand all of it, but we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time.“
The decision to cancel their performance came two days after drummer Tyler Stewart posted a tweet saying the group is “looking at options” after viewing the documentary.
Nelson’s cancellation came shortly after the Barenaked Ladies decision to call off their show—both of which may have been a response to online petitions started by fans on Change.org.
The petition to void Nelson’s gig gained around 9,000 signatures.
SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck confirmed Nelson’s decision not to sing at SeaWorld, but he cited reasons other than the documentary and petition.
“Due to scheduling conflicts, Willie Nelson will not be appearing at SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ event in 2014,” Gollattscheck said in a statement e-mailed to CNN.
However, Nelson later revealed his true reasons for canceling the show.
“I don’t agree with the way they treat their animals,” Nelson told CNN. “It wasn’t that hard a deal for me.“
Nelson felt he had no choice but to cancel, given public pressure not just from his fans, but also from his grandchildren—one of whom created a petition of her own. Nelson also cited his own conviction, claiming the way SeaWorld operates is unacceptable.
These compassionate artists’ decision to cancel shows at SeaWorld is just another awesome example of the progressive effects Blackfish has had on the animal rights movement. May we continue to take a stand against SeaWorld’s horrific treatment of orcas.
— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal