5 min read

Why Is SeaWorld Skipping This Year’s Rose Parade?

<p><a class="checked-link" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale#mediaviewer/File:Orca_porpoising.jpg">Minette Layne/Wikimedia Commons</a></p>

Last year, the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. was besieged by a cohort of protesters, all targeting one float: SeaWorld. After revelations about its orca whale care were exposed in the documentary "Blackfish," animal advocates were out in full force to picket the park.

Dozens of media outlets reported the arrests of 19 PETA protesters, and the fact that one member of the group arrested was 12 years old added impact. Rose McCoy, that 12-year-old, explained her motive last January for The Dodo:

It just seemed to me that a family event like the Rose Parade is THE LAST place where we should celebrate an animal-abusing corporation like SeaWorld that actually rips families apart.

Now, it seems that protesters won't even have to bother this year. The Rose Parade announced its lineup this week, and SeaWorld is noticeably absent - SeaWorld appeared in the parade in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2014.

Many have speculated that SeaWorld wants to avoid another debacle in front of 55 million viewers.

"With SeaWorld's stock at an all-time low and so many people speaking out against the display of orcas in tiny concrete tanks, SeaWorld may have finally realized that a pretty parade float cannot rescue its reputation," says PETA Senior Vice President and Pasadena resident Lisa Lange. "The Rose Parade is no place for a company that abuses marine life."

A spokesperson for the Rose Parade told The Dodo that SeaWorld did not apply to participate in the Rose Parade this year.

When asked about the parade, a SeaWorld spokesperson issued this statement to LA Weekly:

SeaWorld's plans were to only participate in the 2014 Rose Parade as the kickoff to our 50th Celebration. SeaWorld turned 50 years old this year. We never had plans to have a float entry in the 2015 Rose Parade.

Despite this not being an anniversary year for SeaWorld, the company has chosen to participate in another high-profile event: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While its float has yet to appear on the lineup, a spokesperson for the parade confirmed to The Dodo that SeaWorld will have a float this year. Protesters, including 12-year-old Rose McCoy, have already vowed to protest.

[rebelmouse-campaign #BoycottSeaWorld title="Take action: Pledge never to visit SeaWorld or other marine parks until they empty their tanks." theme="sidebar" total="supporters have shared their voice." cta="Sign Now" pastCta="Signed" sendButton="Sign" why="Take action: Pledge never to visit SeaWorld or other marine parks until they empty their orca tanks." addPost="Post Now!" shareText="Join @dodo and me in pledging to not to visit SeaWorld or other marine parks until they empty their orca tanks #BoycottSeaWorld {{link}}"]