SeaWorld is having a very, very bad year. The release of the documentary "Blackfish," which exposed the harsh lives of captive orcas at SeaWorld parks, became a huge hit, making the rounds on CNN, Netflix and iTunes. That film has had a ripple effect on SeaWorld, and SeaWorld finally replied.
SeaWorld took out a full-page ad in major national newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the LA Times, and SeaWorld's hometown paper, the Orlando Sentinel, with an open letter. In it, SeaWorld lays out its defense--never mentioning "Blackfish"--in an effort to, as they say, "set the record straight."
It's an understandable attempt to spin the news, because the news has been exclusively bad. Major shareholders shed millions of shares of stock. Nearly every performer slated to perform at SeaWorld has cancelled. A five-year-old's reaction to the film on YouTube went viral. A California elementary school that has taken an overnight field trip to SeaWorld every year for years made news by cancelling this year's trip. Fearing a loss of ticket sales, SeaWorld turned to discount seller Groupon.