SeaWorld cited Padgett's social media activity, saying that she cheered on the "Blackfish" creators on Facebook, as well as attending premieres of the movie at the Sundance Film Festival and in New York. The complaint references a government ethical code that bars officials from using their position to benefit people with whom they are privately connected to, or from officially endorsing a private activity.
But Cowperthwaite told The Times that she has never received any documents from Padget, calling the charge, "just so patently wrong." In an email to The Dodo, Zimmermann wrote: "Lara Padgett never gave ‘Blackfish' any documents, and she, along with her OSHA colleagues, declined repeated requests to participate in ‘Blackfish.'"
This is only SeaWorld's latest effort to respond to the growing backlash it's faced since the release, and repeated airing on CNN, of "Blackfish," from the cancellation of bands slated to perform at its park, boycotts and petitions against the park and dozens of celebrity calls to end the orca breeding program (and less polite sentiments expressed to SeaWorld, as well).