Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer and whistleblower who appeared in the documentary "Blackfish," told The Dodo that SeaWorld's real problem lies in its hiring executives who believe the "happy Shamu image."
"They're the ones who have sold the idea to management that swimming with captive killer whales is safe, that killer whales thrive in their care, and that blame trainers for their own injuries and death when the animals go off behavior," he said. "Whether this is the beginning of the end will be determined by SeaWorld. The company needs to change or crumble."
Two other major additions were made this week to SeaWorld's cast of characters: Ellen Tauscher, a former congresswoman, and William Gray, former co-CEO of the communications agency Ogilvy North, are also joining the board. Tauscher is a former Wall Street executive who became a powerful Democrat for 13 years, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 10th district. Interestingly, it was another California Democrat, Richard Bloom, a representative of the 50th district, who introduced a bill to ban orca whale captivity in the state earlier this year.