Today — a measly four days days since whale trainer, Dawn Brancheau, was violently killed by a whale — SeaWorld resumed its killer whale show. Clearly, SeaWorld must be using Tiger Woods’ PR firm for advice on how to handle crisis PR. Maybe they offer a special promo for Florida-based eff-ups? Seriously people. WTF? A woman was brutally and traumatically thrashed and drowned in front of a crowd of people, including a bunch of children and SeaWorld thinks four days is the magical number to resume shows. How insensitive and unaware can people be? Let’s not forget this same whale was involved in two other deaths. In an act that can only echo the stupidity of the Catholic church relocating priests who were known sexual predators, SeaWorld purchased Tilikum from a park in Canada but only to be used as a stud, not in performances. What was the catalyst for the decision to let Tilikum go from stud to performer? Was there a meeting in a SeaWorld conference room where some employee advocated on behalf of Tilikum saying “we owe it to him because he has done a great job knocking up a bunch of female whales.” If you were a parent, would you hire a convicted child molester as a babysitter? Probably not. This situation is just as absurd. The whale had killed. Twice. No sane person would allow that situation to be repeated.
Let me be clear, I do not blame the whale for the death. It is unfathomable to me that these amazing creatures — who were meant to swim the vast oceans of the world — are being held in captivity in tiny tanks. What creature with a beating heart and brain would not go crazy in that type of environment? The cruelty is unimaginable.
There can only be one motivation behind SeaWorld’s decision to resume the killer whale shows and that is money. After four days they have managed to compartmentalize the death and can now only see green. What else could be behind the decision? It’s not like there are throngs of children protesters sitting in strollers outside SeaWorld holding signs that say “Bring Back The Whale Show.” The decision was based on pure greed. SeaWorld appears to rationalize this decision by saying no trainers will be in the water with the whales. Oh that’s a good plan. That makes everything better. It’s kinda like charging tickets to see Charles Manson but promising he won’t be within striking distance of any human beings. SeaWorld’s delusional plans are further amplified by citing in-water interactions between whales and trainers will resume after a “completed review and new policies” are made. Ummm….do you think you might want to review the findings before you state that you’ll be tossing the whale version of human popcorn back in the water. Dudes, unlike the cigarette industry who denied for decades that cigarettes caused cancer because there was no concrete evidence, this death was witnessed by many people. These whales kill. Who in their right mind would make a statement that essentially says “yeah, we’ll take a look at things but no matter what we find we promise to put human beings in the same risky situation in the future.”
What are your thoughts on SeaWorld’s decision?