While stocks plummet, corporate partners are taking note. Companies like Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, Hyundai, Taco Bell and Panama Jack have all cut ties with SeaWorld in the past year.
Amid the backlash, SeaWorld's CEO Jim Atchison stepped down in December. The company has not yet named a new CEO.
Interim CEO David D'Alessandro told investors during a call Thursday morning that the company is even planning a "truth about SeaWorld" marketing campaign to improve its tarnished reputation. He also argued that the company has been able to handle bad publicity all the way back to "the 'Free Willy' days."
Despite all of the negative publicity, SeaWorld has refused to accept that consumers don't want to see orca whales in tanks anymore. It has dodged pleas to end the whale breeding program and retire the whales to seaside sanctuaries, while also pledging to build new marine parks in the Middle East, where there is less awareness about the plight of whales in captivity.
But until SeaWorld reverses course, listens to consumers and releases its orcas to the wild or a sea pen, it appears increasingly likely that the company's struggles will continue.