Editor’s Note: I have not been presented the opportunity to view Blackfish and urge you to consider both sides of the argument before drawing any conclusions. A good place to start is this NY Times article on SeaWorld Park’s and Entertainment‘s response to the movie and what it sees as distortions of the facts and message. I want to thank Mike Bastoli for continuing to post here on the blog; even when I’m not 100% comfortable with his topics, I’m glad I can provide a forum for his ideas.
First of all, I’d like to thank John for giving me the opportunity to comment on Blackfish here. Even though we are of different opinions on whether orcas—killer whales—should continue to be kept in captivity at SeaWorld and places like it, we both agree that everyone should have an opportunity to evaluate the facts and make up their own mind on the issue. Really, we are the jury.
Blackfish begins with a black screen and a terrifying 911 call: “A whale has eaten one of the trainers,” the voice on the phone tells the dispatcher. That call was made on February 24, 2010, moments after SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, a 12,000-pound male orca who had taken human life twice before.