Blackfish is a documentary that exposes the abuse, specifically, of Killer Whales in their facilities over the past several decades. The film was released in July of 2013 and painted a horrific picture of animal abuse by companies such as SeaWorld.
Though every documentary should be watched with a grain of salt and a lack of bias, there is no doubt that at least a healthy portion of the information in the film is fact. However it may have been presented for the sake of entertainment or elaboration, most of the incidences were taken directly from news sources and actual video footage. Some soft voiceover, commentary, stories and dramatic music may have aided in hitting some points (and your heart strings) but even SeaWorld can not deny several of the actual occurances shown in the documentary.
It took six months for SeaWorld’s marketing team to come with a response to try to falsify the film and what they came up with is only going to hurt them further. There is little to no question in most people’s minds that harbouring these animals in their small pools should be outlawed, regardless.
You can see the start of their campaign to discredit “Blackfish” here….for all the good it will do them.
SeaWorld’s Holly Byrd responds in one video that video footage the documentary used to help aid a story by a previous trainer was of her, not the trainer telling the story. This does not discount the story in the documentary in any way, shape or form. Holly should know that visual aids in a video presentation always help the watcher understand an audible dictation.
Mark Simmons, who was included in “Blackfish” claims much of what he said was excluded from the film. He suggests the film is completely false.
Chuck Tompkins begins his video by describing information in “Blackfish” with the phrase “far from the truth”. In the next sentence, he stumbles over calling himself a “zoological professional”. Neither he nor the other high-level managers of animal training at SeaWorld are formally trained in animal behavior, nor do they have any professional experience with orcas other that what they learned on the job at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld makes a number of points to discredit “Blackfish”, repeatedly using phrases such as “untrue” and “false”. However, I don’t want to sound completely one-sided myself so you are welcome to read through their response.
Their ultimate summary of their opinion on the film are posted at the end of their list and reads:
All of the falsehoods and misleading techniques in Blackfish are employed in the service of the film’s obvious bias, one that is best revealed near the end of Blackfish by a neuroscientist with no known expertise in killer whales. She claims that all killer whales in captivity are “emotionally destroyed,” and “ticking time bombs.” These are not the words of science, and indeed, there is not a shred of scientific support for them. Rather, they are the words of animal rights activists whose agenda the film’s many falsehoods were designed to advance. They reveal “Blackfish” not as an objective documentary, but as propaganda.
What say you? Understanding “Blackfish” is presented as a documentary, as well as an entertainment product to hold your attention, did they mislead us? Is SeaWorld off the hook and allowed to move forward?