Since the release of Blackfish in 2013, SeaWorld’s stock has tanked. Many corporations have cut ties with the abusement park. Celebrities have even said they’d rather “stick hot needles in my eyes” than attend SeaWorld parks.
And the public agrees that SeaWorld has made terrible decisions, leading Mad magazine to include the company on its list of dumbest things of 2015.
— Stevie Ryan (@StevieRyan) July 27, 2015
With all that in mind, it might be hard to believe that SeaWorld could continue being as dumb as it had been. But when it comes to making poor choices, SeaWorld excels. Here are just a few of the stupidest things that the company has done since Blackfish was released:
1. SeaWorld’s PR Campaign “#AskSeaWorld” on Twitter Epically Backfires
When SeaWorld began the #AskSeaWorld hashtag on Twitter, the company thought it would appear open and honest. However, when people started asking the real questions, SeaWorld dodged them, refusing to answer them and calling the concerned public “trolls.” This spectacular failure was labeled one of the biggest social media fails of 2015.
— Kelli Lovett (@KellisKupcakes) March 26, 2015
2. SeaWorld Runs an Ad Claiming That the Ocean Is Dangerous for Orcas
In an expensive ad campaign, SeaWorld tried to make the ocean out to be a dangerous place for orcas to live. You know—the ocean—where they naturally are born and thrive. The ad was ripe for parody, so PETA made our own version to highlight just how dumb this statement was.
3. SeaWorld Chair Sells His Stock
After declining ticket sales, the chair of SeaWorld’s Board of Directors, David D’Alessandro, sold 43,179 shares of the company’s stock. This was actually pretty smart of him on an individual basis but terrible for the company, whose owners are even jumping ship.
4. SeaWorld Refers to Sea Sanctuaries as ‘Sea Cages’
In a statement, a SeaWorld representative said that the company wouldn’t move the orcas to “sea cages” because “these whales would face the same natural and man-made threats of their wild counterparts.” Again, SeaWorld tried to claim that the ocean is a worse place for orcas than the tiny glass and concrete bathtubs they exist in now—lonely and performing tricks for food. But sea sanctuaries can become a real, wonderful thing. There’s even a cost-effective plan for how SeaWorld could build them. There is no excuse for why it hasn’t.
— Louise Thomson (@LouiseJthomson) April 1, 2016
5. SeaWorld Says It Will Only Serve ‘Sustainable’ Seafood
Serving any seafood at SeaWorld parks only hurts the very animals the company says it’s trying to conserve and protect. Fish feel pain and even recognize faces. For a company that claims to be educational, it’s remarkably ignorant and callous for serving fish as food.
— PETA (@peta) July 29, 2014
6. SeaWorld’s Plan to Have Spies Infiltrate PETA Fails
A man going by the name of “Thomas Jones” had been attending our protests at SeaWorld as well as other PETA events, trying to get close to PETA employees. He had also been posting inflammatory messages on social media in an effort to incite illegal actions.
PETA’s investigation of “Thomas Jones” revealed that this man was actually Paul T. McComb, a human resources employee at SeaWorld San Diego.
Seaworld claimed no involvement in this but then later admitted to it after its stock price sank as a result.
After all these years, SeaWorld still hasn’t learned to tell the truth.
What You Can Do
Urge SeaWorld to send the orcas to a seaside sanctuary and close all of its animal displays. This is the only smart decision the company can make now.