Why You Shouldn’t Buy The Blackfish Backlash


It has been a very eventful week on the Blackfish vs. SeaWorld front. Today, the documentary was snubbed by the Acadamey for an Oscar nomination, but the impact the film has made on the public (without a nomination) continues to grow. Months after the documentary went mainstream, SeaWorld and its supporters are finally breaking their silence. A new barrage of attacks against the movie have been launched. Three of these have come from the pro-SeaWorld website micechat.com.

Bridgette Pirtle

The first blow came from former Shamu trainer Bridgette Pirtle who was involved in the making of BlackfishBridgette came forward last week on Mice Chat making what appear to be damning claims about the documentary and those involved. This, I assume, is supposed to have fans of the documentary shaking in their boots. Unfortunately, the interview only reveals how vague and fickle Bridgette’s opinion on the captivity issue is.

Why Bridgette left SeaWorld in the first place is vital in understanding her position. However, there is no clear answer to this question out there. In an interview with Gwen Williams (Screen name: Freedom For Orcas) in September 2013, Bridgette stated that the catalyst for her anti-captivity enlightenment was the young killer whale Halyn becoming injured due to the poor state of the facilities at SeaWorld. I personally was told by Bridgette that the reason for her change of heart was Tim Zimmermann and his prominent anti-captivity writings. This new interview with MiceChat, states that Bridgette’s leaving was a response to her family’s tearful pleas after Dawn’s death. Perhaps the truth is a combination of these three different stories. Regardless, it seems as though Ms. Pirtle has been spun up and just can’t get the whole truth out. This is telling in her new interview where she paints a picture that former trainers approached her about the movie Blackfish. In fact, she approached them in late 2012 looking for a chance to be in the movie. Unfortunately for her, the film was already in post production — but that didn’t stop her from threatening legal action unless she was afforded some involvement with the film. As a result, Bridgette provided some last-minute footage to the film makers and a short clip of her with a whale is shown.

Although she had a very small part in the making of the movie, Bridgette found friendship with the Blackfish cast and followed them to screenings and Q&A sessions. In one post-Sundance interview, Bridgette praised the documentary , cast and crew:

“As the credits rolled, seeing my name within those of so many individuals I admired was amazing … I felt such a sense of awe and gratitude. I am very thankful that there are people like Gabriela, Tim and Manny that are capable of creating such an impactful film. I am very thankful for Sam, Jeff, John J., Carol and John H. for having the courage to speak out and the influence to inspire individuals like myself to find the strength to share the truth with the world.”

This is a complete 180 from the tune she is now singing which criticizes the documentary as misleading. The cast and crew that she was so fond of are now being attacked on a personal level and those former trainers who welcomed her as a new animal advocate are condemned by Bridgette for being too inexperienced in current killer whale training methods to be allowed a voice in Blackfish. Not only did she approve and gush about the film after its first screening, but she allegedly saw Dawn Brancheau’s ghost in the audience and claimed that Dawn approved of the film as well.

The interview is lacking in direct responses toward the film’s message itself, and Bridgette’s own opinion about the issue is not made clear. She states that SeaWorld should end its captive breeding program and phase out its entertainment features, but the pro-SeaWorld interviewer (MiceChat) never explores why she feels this way (probably for fear that she may say something negative about the marine park.) Although Bridgette says that she is against killer whale captivity, she states that she would definitely take her children to watch performing killer whales at SeaWorld which seems like a huge contradiction.  It is entirely possible that Bridgette has had a drastic change of heart in the past few months, but one must question: why? The movie has not changed, nor has its message. My intention here is not to attack Ms. Pirtle personally, but to reveal how questionable her word is on this topic and encourage others to take her opinions with a grain of salt.

bridgette

Mark Simmons

The second attack from captivity supporters was an interview, also on MiceChat, with former trainer Mark Simmons. While Mark appears to be more put together than Bridgette in his statements, the interview largely focuses on his personal feelings of deceit. He claims that he would not have taken part in the film if he had known that some of the former trainers were going to be involved. The director of Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, stated that she could not divulge who was involved in the film at that time, and Mark agreed to do the interview anyway. It seems as though he was taking a “risk” when he agreed to do the interview without knowing who else was in the movie. This is hardly the fault of the film maker or a flaw with the film itself.  Mark does touch on some claims Blackfish makes, but instead of dismissing those claims as false, he tries to rationalize them. For instance, mother killer whales and their calves were separated, but it was okay because killer whale mothers allegedly abuse their older calves after becoming pregnant or giving birth to a new baby. There is no evidence to suggest that this is true in a captive environment, and it certainly is not normal wild killer whale behavior.

Mark is not just a former SeaWorld trainer, he is also Founder and Vice President of “Ocean Embassy,” a company that deals in foreign, large scale dolphin capture. Reading his interview in this context is very revealing. Is a man who aids in dolphin captures for a living credible in his opinions on animal welfare? Even most captivity supporters would say no.

“Dissecting Blackfish”

MiceChat attempted to deal another blow in the form of a report entitled “Dissecting Blackfish.” The report doesn’t actually dissect the documentary, however. It largely focuses on David Kirby’s book “Death at SeaWorld”, as well as irrelevant topics like PETA and Keiko’s release. The parts that do mention Blackfish do not address the claims of the movie. Instead, it discusses the film’s funding and editing techniques. The report is also quite deceptive in that it is written to appear like a scientific paper. This was probably done to make the document seem more credible than it truly is.

Kyle Kittleson

The last attack comes from former SeaWorld trainer Kyle Kittleson. He recently published an article on his blog all about The Truth Behind Blackfish. Like most other attacks against Blackfish, this article also avoids addressing the film’s message. Kyle simply states that Blackfish is a lie and none of its claims are true, but fails to actually refute those claims. Kyle also filmed a video interview where he speaks against the film by employing illogical arguments.

“I know virtually every trainer at SeaWorld Orlando and trainers all over the world that work at other facilities,” Kyle states, “and none of us would work weekends, nights, miss holidays with our family, not get paid very much…if we thought that these animals weren’t being cared for.”

This argument boils down to: “Captivity is okay because I show up at work.” which is hardly a convincing argument.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld itself has gotten in on the action by creating a whole new website dedicated to the claims in Blackfish and a new video series: “The Truth is in Our Parks and People.”  The first video addresses the practice of separating killer whale mothers and their calves. SeaWorld boasts: “We have Katina with two of her babies. We recognize this and keep them together as a family.” What they fail to mention is that these are only two of seven of Katina’s babies. The others were taken from her. Ironically, the display photo for SeaWorld’s website that states “We do not separate killer whale moms and calves” features Takara, and her baby Kohana. Kohana was separated from Takara and flown off to Spain when she was just four years old. Takara herself was taken away from her mother, Kasatka. The story of their separation is told by former trainer John Hargrove in Blackfish. 

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SeaWorld have reportedly been desperately urging staff in morning meetings to blog like crazy about how great their job is in order to keep the businesses’ reputation afloat in the public sphere. However, former SeaWorld staff have appeared to be stepping forward left-and-right in comments and in forums to defend Blackfish (most of them anonymously). Such as this “ask a former SeaWorld employee” thread at babycenter.com, and this one revealing “SeaWorld’s biggest secret” on micechat.com. Former SeaWorld trainer Melissa Dawn (also known as “Mermaid Melissa”) also rep’d Blackfish on her Facebook page and said that she had cut ties with the Orlando park. I think we can expect even more attacks from the pro-captivity front in the near future. However, I can’t help but feel they are a little too late. Blackfish has already drawn first blood and the damage dealt will continue to grow. Unfortunately for these captivity supporters, the public is just not buying their counter-attacks.

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44 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Buy The Blackfish Backlash

  1. When Kyle Kittleson states “none of us would work weekends, nights, miss holidays with our family, not get paid very much…if we thought that these animals weren’t being cared for.” He is explaining that within the field of animal care, for marine mammal trainers especially; employees (many of whom hold degrees and almost all are hard working) are demanded to work long hours for little pay, so why would they do it? They do it because they love animals so much that they are willing to dedicate there careers, make sacrifices in there personal lives and turn down alternative jobs which would result in more money and a better lifestyle in order to work with and care for animals, and nobody that loves animals that much would ever work for a company they didn’t believe cared for there animals.

    • Trainers who work at run-down aquariums that beat their animals also work hard for little pay. Zookeepers who work for facilities that keep their animals locked up in barren cages probably don’t get paid much either. Neither do circus elephant trainers and I’m sure the same is true for dolphin and whale fishermen. So, you work hard and you don’t get paid much. That doesn’t mean that the place you work at is ethical. It doesn’t mean that it must be okay to keep animals in a state of poor welfare.

  2. Cetaceaninspiration, you are clearly very intelligent and well-educated. There is a suble sarcasm to your writing, yet the message is professional, clear, and to-the-point, leaving nothing to be desired. You certainly hold your own, especially against people whose vocabulary consists of “clearly you all know fuck all about this topic” leading into run-on sentences. While I am unsure how one “knows fuck,” your rebuttal seems to have left these “I know I’m right, because I said so” sayers, speechless. (I will never understand how some people can be so opposed to any fact or logic.)

    In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed what was clearly a well researched and well documented film. Blackfish also made it explicitly clear that the trainers love the animals- nothing was derogatory against them- but the captive environment is far from ideal for whales or any animals.

    May we all know a day when animals are no longer forced to perform for human entertainment.

  3. Bridgette Pirtle “allegedly saw Dawn Brancheau’s ghost in the audience and claimed that Dawn approved of the film as well”. I find this interesting. I, personally, don’t believe in ghosts, but I’d love to have the link to where Bridgette Pirtle makes this claim.

  4. I tried asking Colleen Gorman and John Kielty of the Orca Project these questions…and they haven’t answered. So:
    “What is being done with the profits from Blackfish? And how does Gabriela Cowperthwaite feel about the fact that her documentary “is not Dawn’s story” and that the Brancheau family doesn’t support the film? I find it funny that you haven’t posted about that…
    http://www.dawnsfoundation.org/share-your-stories/images/dawn-brancheaus-family-statement-about-blackfish

    • Dawn’s family never condemns the film. They simply say that it is not Dawn’s story, which is true. Blackfish never claims to be Dawn’s story and, in fact, the focus of the film is clearly on the story of Tilikum and killer whales in captivity. Dawn is only occasionally mentioned along with the other killer whale victims. The only other thing that the family says is that Dawn believed the animals were treated ethically, which is pretty obvious given that she was an experienced and dedicated trainer. This opinion in no way, shape, or form, negates the overarching message of the film: killer whales do not belong in captivity. I cannot speak for Colleen or John, but I do know that the profits from documentaries are often put back into the movement by helping the cast/crew travel throughout the world to conferences/showings, advertisements, etc.

      • Here’s a quote from http://timzimmermann.com/2013/04/11/addressing-some-criticism-of-blackfish/

        “4) I don’t know whether any of Dawn’s family has seen the film, and what they think of it if they have. But Blackfish does everything it can to be respectful of Dawn, and her love of working with killer whales. Her death is not shown (though the Dine With Shamu Show that led up to her death is reviewed and dissected to show that Tilikum’s work with Dawn just before he killed her was not as flawless as SeaWorld has asserted). And, most import, Blackfish honors and defends Dawn by strongly rebutting SeaWorld’s initial effort to suggest that she made a mistake, when in fact she was following SeaWorld protocols with the same professionalism and discipline that made her such a great trainer. In fact, that is one of the major takeaways of Blackfish. Dawn is not defamed in any way in the film. She is portrayed as a passionate and talented killer whale trainer who was let down by the system in which she worked, and suffered the ultimate tragedy.”

        However, a film that implies that SeaWorld is cruel indirectly implies that employees of SeaWorld and supporters of SeaWorld are cruel. Dawn fell into both of those categories.

        “Dawn is only occasionally mentioned along with the other killer whale victims”

        I haven’t seen the film (I hope to soon) but what I understand is that there is a complete segment going through what Dawn did wrong on February 24.

        Here’s a quote from MiceChat:

        “According to Bridgette, before the first screening of the film, Dawn’s family requested that they be allowed to view the movie in the privacy of their own home. When Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite refused their request, Dawn’s family then asked if they were going to like the movie, to which her response was, ‘No.'”

        • There is a scene at the end where Dawn’s last session with Tilikum is discussed and opinions are presented about what could have possibly caused the attack.

          Dawn is mentioned just as much as Keltie and Alexis. Maybe even less. Gabriela said in an interview (I don’t have a link off the top of my head) that she knew the family would not like the film because it discusses Dawn’s death. Of course her family would not like that – they don’t want to think about Dawn’s death, they want to remember her life.

        • “However, a film that implies that SeaWorld is cruel indirectly implies that employees of SeaWorld and supporters of SeaWorld are cruel. Dawn fell into both of those categories.”

          No, it does not. That is too simplistic and not at all the story told in the movie.

          “I haven’t seen the film (I hope to soon) but what I understand is that there is a complete segment going through what Dawn did wrong on February 24.”

          That’s not how I would describe it. I’m curious if you still feel the same way after you’ve had a chance to see it. What I took away from it was that it was an accident. However, in news footage, a “former Seaworld exec” (Thad makes this statement:

          “Dawn, if she was standing here with me right now would tell you that was her mistake, in allowing that to happen.”

          The movie then allows several ex-trainers to refute this statement.

  5. Funny how it wasn’t ok for the Southern States of America to be slave owners and how it wasn’t ok for Hitler to capture and torture and murder Jews but its ok to capture, enslave and torture animals. What’s next? Water-boarding little children ? Oh wait, I think we have done that. Our society has the morals of a serial killer.

  6. This is very well written. Thank you for sharing. I have tried to get these same thoughts across myself, although you do it so much more eloquently. There is one thing you left out though. Kyle’s video interview…he states in the interview that he left SeaWorld a several months ago to pursue other passions. At the very end of the video he spashes up on the screen a promo for his website and for his book “How to Work in a Wetsuit”. It seems that this guy left SeaWorld in order to start a business “helping” people to become marine mammal trainers. Of course (just like Mark Simmons) he has a vested monetary interest in SeaWorld staying in business and having a good rep.

  7. I have long been a cetacean enthusiast since I was a child. I was lucky enough to have been born in British Columbia and have seen wild orcas many times in my life. I am from Victoria, where that very sad glorified pen once existed. I remember when it was closed down. I have been to Loro Parqué, having lived in Tenerife for a little while. I cannot imagine that small, somewhat shabby facility housing orcas, and was shocked to see it in the documentary as having done so. I’m not surprised something happened there. Their dolphin facilities seemed OK at what I could see — but I also mean OK, not great, but definitely not suitable for orcas.
    Especially after seeing the documentary, I feel that orcas just have too much going on to keep them successfully in captivity and at such a scale as we currently do. I feel we could perhaps meet the needs of smaller cetaceans such as bottlenoses and etc, but with the way the industry runs, we often fail them, too.

    I guess I feel that captivity may be an answer for disabled or sick animals, it may be possible for smaller animals, but it isn’t tenable in its current state. As much as I loved seeing those watershows, and as much as I’d love to work with them, it isn’t what’s best for them and that’s very sad.

  8. Dissecting Blackfish by Joe Kleiman. There’s actually way more to that title. It’s- “Dissecting Blackfish: An Analysis of editorial choices utilized in the film ‘Blackfish’ and the book ‘Death at Sea World’ and their relationship to the animal rights movement”. 1) That sounds like something people should know when making a decision about information that may help the vilified look good. 2) it tells you it’s not about the film but rather, the animal rights movement. So who’s Joe Kleiman? Well, he tells you exactly in the “About the Author” section of the paper he wrote. Kleiman being someone who does business in “sales, marketing, and management of film-based attractions since 1997”. He’s also a freelance writer. He also says “I’m not a scientist…I’m not a lawyer”. AND he says that Sea World was never contacted to be a part of his paper. Speaking of which, it’s not written like a scientific paper. It’s written like a research paper in general. I would know. I printed it out. Did you? Other things you failed to mention- Joe Kleiman’s grandparents held stock in the first Sea World and all throughout it’s expansion. He grew up there basically, and interned there as well. He volunteered at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN), which gave him access to work with NOAA and Texas A&M scientists. It was during that time that Sea World Texas partnered with TMMSN by “providing facilities along with keepers and veterinary staff to assist with the rehabilitation and re-release of live strandings along the Texas coast and in Galveston Bay”…I could go on but my overall point is this- if the whole idea is to say that these types of animals shouldn’t be in captivity, period? Then ok. Yes! I agree with you! But this whole “has nothing to do with the movie scientific paper” you lead your readers to believe it is clearly has little bit more weight to it than what you let on. You can curse at Sea World all you want but first you should hear as much of both sides of the story as possible. And like with most arguments, somewhere in the middle is the truth.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Although I agreed with the message in this article, I felt that some of the information about “Dissecting Blackfish” was misleading. Although I disagreed with some of the content of “Dissecting Blackfish” it was made clear in the title that it was an analysis of editorial choices and Kirby’s book. And you’re right to say, Amanda, that it is laid out in the format of a research paper – I printed it and read it and have experience in publishing and it is definitely written in the style of a scholarly paper with appropriate graphology.

  9. This movie is important for many reasons. As a former patron of SeaWorld I was completely unaware that these animals were captured. I always thought they were rescue animals that couldn’t be released into the wild due to injury etc. I am sure there are many people like myself that were told by SeaWorld employees that our money was going to help protect these animals. As we sat and watched this film with our stuffed Shamu from SeaWorld it became very clear the motive if this company. I do believe these trainers truly love these animals but that doesn’t make keeping them there right. Does anyone know whether these animals could successfully be released into the wild?

    • Many of the whales could not be released into the open ocean because they rely on medications for chronic illnesses and have drilled teeth that would make hunting difficult, if not impossible. A more humane option would be to retire the animals to a sea side sanctuary where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace at home.

    • Thank you for sharing this! Educating people beyond Sea World PR spokes people is another huge step in ending Orcas performing and living in captivity. It is a surprise to me that some have referenced Blackfish as ‘propaganda’. I have seen Sea World in person and it is a dark and depressing place. The loud music that plays throughout the park is an assault on all creatures of which employees informed me the animals were ‘used to the music’. For anyone that claims Blackfish is propaganda, please explain what it would be like if you lived in a small bedroom for 20+ years and never went outside? We are not capable of providing a healthy captive life for these animals.

      An animal sea sanctuary is very possible and doable for the already captive animals living at Sea World. Sea World could easily simply be a ‘Marine/Theme park’ WITHOUT captive marine mammals because I don’t see how performance and roller coasters equate with ‘conservation’.

    • I think it is important to know that many of these whales have been bred into captivity. (this does not make the matters any better) but to avoid irrelevant arguments like the one Kyle Kittleson stated watchers take away from Blackfish is that these animals were captured is not true. My taking of Blackfish is Tilikum was captured and he is still used today to breed other whales. The issue now has come is when a mother whale gives birth she is separated from her babies because, as Sea World states, the mothers become abusive when other babies are born. Oddly enough they do not explain as to why this behavior would happen in captivity and not in the wild…. because mothers will remain with their young in their pods for life in the wild.

  10. clearly you all know fuck all about this topic. its not even a freaking documentary it is a propaganda film that people are so stupid to believe, as soon as i watched it i could tell it was bullshit. it was so bias. they used trainers in the cast that had no experience working with the specific killer whale, false information, fictional narrative and trainers that left sea world years ago! i assure you they look after the dolphins and whales at sea world and if you have ever been you would know it as soon as you walked in. I always talk to the trainers because its my dream job. they say how rewarding it is and how the whales are like friends and how much they love them! its easy to believe what false documentaries say, especially these days because everyone is like a sheep, they just follow the crowd. But before you carry on believing it and saying how vile it is etc, learn the facts and visit the parks and see for yourself!

    • What is bullshit? That SeaWorld artificial inseminates their animals, separates mothers and calves and that the whales are hyper aggressive? How about that SeaWorld educators lie to the public, is that bullshit too? Because ALL of this is caught on camera and is backed up by internal documents! Or are you suggesting that the actual footage was staged and the documents are fraudulent?

      I have been to SeaWorld multiple times and other aquariums as well (I was an aquarium educator myself). I’m sure the trainers love the whales, but just because someone loves them, does not mean that these animals thrive in captivity. They don’t. These, the most “loved” whales in the world, are still sicker than the ones in the wild. They still die sooner than their wild counterparts. An amusement park is still not a suitable environment to keep them in. Period.

      • Artificial insemination happens in zoos around the world, not just Seaworld and babies are always relocated due to the fact that they can’t house them all together. People are complaining that Seaworld doesn’t have enough space for them and yet also complaining that they rehome the babies. You can’t have it both ways! Also trainers ride on the dolphins and yet that seems completely okay to everyone. I think Blackfish was a complete joke and literally laughed multiple times during it. If people seriously didn’t realise that the whales were originally captured from the wild then I’m sorry but you’re an idiot. All animals that are currently in zoos and aquariums around the world were originally captured at one point. Where do people think they came from? They didn’t just appear out of thin air. I will proudly be taking my daughter to Seaworld when she is older, Blackfish didn’t change my opinion on Seaworld as I know Seaworld has strict rules and regulations they have to abide by and are monitored regularly to make sure they are following them.

        • Yes, SeaWorld has rules and regulations. They are monitored and the trainers love and care for the animals in the best way they can. However, that is not the crux of the issue. The crux of the issue is whether or not the *best* care we can give to these animals in swimming pools, is good enough. It is not. If cetaceans are better off in the sea, then their captivity should end so that future generations of whales and dolphins can live the best life possible.

    • Well I hope whales in captivity will be illegal by the time you have a chance to train any of them. First you should follow your own advice and learn some of the facts yourself and then learn how to type an educated and viable response versus using cursing to make a point.

      Second, just because you have a desire to swim and make these animals your friends does not make captivity and training animals to perform in shows right. I have always wanted to swim with dolphins, but ecologically and for the sake of the dolphins I have not, I know this is a greedy desire I have of myself not because I am going to better their lives by getting in a pool with them… I have always found marine life to be magnificent and amazing. I have gone to Sea World to learn more. However, just as you stated above, but opposite, Sea World is all propaganda. They provide unreliable and irrelevant information and while you feel you are learning they put a show together that has nothing to do with marine life and what they do for our environment or our ecosystem. Ethnocentrism at it’s greatest, if we find it entertaining it must be okay! Seriously asking, what does anything in Sea World have to do with conservation? How much energy do they suck up to maintain their park when nature itself does a pretty okay job. I encourage you instead of spending the $84 to spend a day at Sea World spend $85 and take a whale watching charter to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. I learned more in the day trip on a ecologically friendly whale watching charter then I have in any visit to a Sea World park and I can assure you it was more memorable.

      Just as man was never meant to be one on one with a tiger or bear (no matter how cute and precious they are) man was not meant to be one on one with an Orca. We need to learn to enjoy and appreciate them for who they are and where they thrive versus feeling the need to make them approachable and playful in an environment that humans tend to find more appealing. We are destroying nature, wild life and our ecosystem with this ethnocentrism (best word I can think to use in this case). I want my kids to enjoy the wild in the wild (you can do this from a distance) not a glass window into a man made aquarium. Wild may be cruel but nothing is as cruel and agonizing as being put on show daily and stuck in captivity.

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  12. I Am afraid all seaworld trainers are failed actors not ONE of them is genuine and they dont care about the treatment of cetaceans all they want to see is that mug of theirs on highway 54..
    If its as easy as training a cetacean into captivity its gotta be as easy to train them back to the wild.

    Strange really all the trainers have fabulous fake Hollywood smiles yet they see nothing into drilling into the poor creatures that have got their vile mugs on those billboards

    mark Simmonds saying he was conned into giving an interview get off your desperation for fame old man has kicked you right up your ass…….greediness what ever your hunger is for will make you choke oneday

  13. In response to Robert, I’m not exactly sure how Sea World’s people are “protecting something that makes sense”. Doesn’t it make sense to have large marine mammals in their proper environment with their respective pods where they actually have their families and have space to move?

  14. Sea World makes me sick. No research or experts opionion changes anything. A picture says a thousand words and there is no disputing that a killer whale should be contained in a ‘bathtub’ for the entertainment of human beings. Shame Sea World give back the freedom you so wrongfully took.

  15. You say the “public” isn’t buying the counter attacks, yet the public also consists of those who do support SeaWorld, and as one of those who do support SeaWorld, just because we dont rally around like flooptydoopty peacocks, doesn’t mean we’re taking a hit from this failure of a film. It means that we still go about our happy lives humbly without trying to flaunt about at parades and in front of parks. People spoke out against the film in defense, but at least our people were actually protecting somethingthat makes sense. 3/4 of the people who have seen Blackfish don’t realize how full of holes it really is. Backlash againsy Blackfish? More like a slap in the face with truth. A source of power built for a couple months…but walls built on false information are easy to tear down.

    • Yes, the public in general doesn’t seem to be buying it. I don’t mean that everyone isn’t buying it or else SeaWorld would be empty.

      Also, the film is not a failure. If it was, SeaWorld would not be reacting the way they are with websites, videos, ads, etc. and they would not be having such a difficult time finding performers for their events.

      If the film is so full of holes, then feel free to point them out and refute them. Let me know when you do.

      Pro-captivity/SeaWorld defenses are not a slap in the face with truth. Blackfish simply revealed to the public what goes on backstage at SeaWorld. Artificial insemination, mother/calf separations and hyper-aggression (raking, attacks, etc.) THIS is what the public is outraged about. Are you saying that these things don’t happen?

    • Robert, granting you that Blackfish might be a total lie and failure, it does not change the fact that captivity damages these creatures. Scientists study these animals and know the differences between orcas in captivity and orcas in the wild. So even if you completely disagree with anything Blackfish says, the facts are that orcas in captivity have decreased life spans by about 30-50 years. They show aggressive behaviour against trainers and also to their own kind which they don’t in the wild. There are multiple videos online and on the Sea World live cam where you can see that some orcas bite others and smack them with their tails. A lot of orcas in captivity have problems with their teeth because they chew on the concrete pool out of boredom. Whatever you think Blackfish does, these are the things that happen to these animals and every sensible trainer would tell you this behind the camera. If you deny all of this then you truly can’t be helped.

  16. When I first read the Bridgette Pirtle interview on MiceChat I was mad and nervous and feared a blow to the Blackfish movement. I frantically tried to join MiceChat in order to comment but couldn’t get the site to work. So I went to Pirtle’s twitter to call out some things she said. Surprisingly she responded. Responded with a return as equally contradictory as her interview. And included a link that, surprise, didn’t work. A deep breath and some commonsense made it extremely easy to debunk her entire interview and realize it will be as transparent to everyone else as it was to me. I hope everyone sees this film.

  17. I am concerned that the energy being created as new people every day watch Blackfish on Netflix, may pass like the wind with no focal means of harnessing the power. What person or organization has the ability to gather these voices into a choir? Certainly a source of power is building, but can and will diminish if not nurtured.

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