Blackfish, dwindling revenues sink SeaWorld’s CEO

Posted: December 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


In 2013, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, a relatively unknown filmmaker, released a little documentary about killer whales, or orcas. It was called Blackfish. The film was shot on a budget of only $76,000, and opened in just five theaters — hardly the makings of a blockbuster. But Blackfish had other aspirations: Cowperthwaite was trying to take down SeaWorld, the international theme-park giant built on the backs of a succession of Shamus that, in 2012, was valued at over $2.5 billion.

It was an uphill struggle to be sure for a film shot on a shoestring, but Blackfish was cut with a singular intent. Through interviews and the kind of PowerPoint-like charts you’d expect to see in a board meeting, Cowperthwaite shone a light on what she considered the cruel, callous, and dangerous practices behind SeaWorld’s orca program.

And, according to Karl Taro Greenfield’s recent story in Bloomberg, it worked. Big time …

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