Thursday, September 11, 2014

SeaWorld Can't Seem to Get Itself Out of Hot Water

Posted on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

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(via) Orlando Weekly recently reported that a lawsuit is being filed against SeaWorld by New York City’s Rosen Firm. The firm is representing all SEAS shareholders who have purchased stock on or after April 18, 2013, the date when the company filed an amended registration statement with SEC. It is painfully clear that SeaWorld is still struggling to shake off Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish, the controversial 2013 documentary which profiles bull orca Tilikum and his role in killing trainer Dawn Brancheau. In fact, Blackfish has forced SeaWorld's finances into the red. The suit filed against them claims the entertainment giant intentionally failed to disclose information in its statement regarding the mistreatment of its orca population, the fact that the company continues to feature an orca which has been involved in multiple trainer fatalities, the negative effects that these factors have on the company’s trainers, and, most importantly, SeaWorld has withheld information regarding its decline in park earnings following Blackfish. Since the release of the documentary, SeaWorld has seen its stock decline by nearly 30%—that’s a price drop of $9.25 per share. The company, however, denies that Blackfish is the cause of this decline, choosing instead to blame other factors like holidays and the weather for their poor attendance records. SeaWorld has even gone so far as to deny that their recently announced Blue World Project, which will feature bigger and better orca enclosures, is not being initiated in response to Cowperthwaite's film. The Blue World Project improvements are set to open in San Diego in 2018, but it is unclear when SeaWorld San Antonio's whales will receive their new enclosures. SeaWorld has yet to comment on the lawsuit, but if and when the company does respond it will probably be in the form of another propagandic gem of a letter.


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