4 min read

Boycott Growing: American Express Under Fire For SeaWorld Partnership

<p>Flickr: Thomas Hubauer</p>

With one huge marketing partner already cutting ties, another of SeaWorld's business targets is under fire. This time it's American Express, which entered into a partnership with the company earlier this year, becoming the theme park's "official card."

A Change.org petition urging American Express to cut ties with SeaWorld has already gained over 4,000 signatures. The petition reads:

With your help, we can align American Express with the values of its powerful customer base and preserve the integrity of their brand from the negative press associated with a cruel industry that is declining into obsolescence.

A spokesperson for American Express responded told The Dodo that the company has seen the petition.

"We are aware of the petition and are reviewing the comments," said Mollie Foust, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications.

The petition is reminiscent of a similar one geared at Southwest Airlines that gained over 32,000 signatures. The company announced that it would sever ties with SeaWorld, and plans to repaint its three specialty planes that were once painted like animals at SeaWorld. Though representatives from Southwest said that the split was mutual, the move came after intense backlash from animal advocates, many of them spurred by the CNN documentary "Blackfish."

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison told the Orlando Sentinel in response to the petition for American Express:

"I think it's unfortunate that those who are in the animal extremist and activist community who don't like what we do are going to target other parties unfairly and unnecessarily. I don't get that."

If American Express did decide to cut ties, they wouldn't be alone. In addition to Southwest Airlines, several musicians boycotted their shows at the parks earlier this year, many of them citing the CNN documentary "Blackfish" and the company's treatment of its orca whales.

This story has been updated with a comment from American Express.

[rebelmouse-campaign #Blackfish title="Speak up: Tell American Express to end their relationship with SeaWorld and stop promoting orca captivity." theme="sidebar" total="readers have spoken out." cta="Share Now" pastCta="Shared" sendButton="Share" why="Thanks for sharing! You can post more on The Dodo about why this issue matters to you." addPost="Post Now!" shareText="Stop promoting orca captivity, @AmericanExpress, and cut ties with SeaWorld {{link}} #Blackfish"]