SeaWorld has agreed to pay $65 million to investors on February 11 to settle a lawsuit about the documentary “Blackfish.” Investors alleged they were misled by the company on the impact the film had on the company’s finances.

The 2013 documentary Blackfish changed the way that many viewers saw animals in captivity. The documentary followed an orca called Tilikum that killed a trainer during a show. In the documentary, SeaWorld was accused of abusing and harming its’ animals. This led to reduced whale show attendance, which ultimately affected revenue. The company claimed the attendance declines were unrelated to the documentary.

After the documentary was released into theaters, entertainers quit or pulled out of performances and many animal rights activists protested SeaWorld parks on a regular basis. Following the popularity of Blackfish, SeaWorld has been losing support and popularity. The company ended its orca breeding programs and its shows featuring orcas in 2016. The company also announced in early 2020 that it would end the practice of letting trainers ride on dolphins.

Blackfish has also impacted the company financially. SeaWorld was also forced to pay over $5 million in a 2018 settlement after the SEC found that the company knew the documentary had impacted profits and sales but had denied the fact to shareholders. By December 2014, about 18 months after Blackfish was released in theaters, SeaWorld’s stock had declined 60%.

Sadly, SeaWorld is still using dolphins for entertainment. This should be stopped! You can help by signing this petition and agreeing not to attend dolphin shows.

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