When word spread that SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby was giving a speech about “good values,” pretty much everyone of true moral character replied with a collective “Huh?” But it was true. Manby appeared at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., last night to present a speech called “The Purpose-Driven Brand: Why Good Values Make Good Business.” Never mind that SeaWorld keeps on proving that it values profit above all else—everyone from Harry Styles to Ellen Page has called it out for its “morals,” and its profits and stock are in a tailspin.
PETA wasn’t about to sit idly by, so protesters organized outside the building. And a Georgetown student in the audience asked Manby point-blank, “Why doesn’t SeaWorld spend the $300 million that it planned to use to build new tanks to return the orcas to the ocean where they can finally have some peace?”
Manby trotted out every tired old SeaWorld excuse, including ocean pollution (even though SeaWorld’s chemical-filled tanks are far worse), expense (though they can somehow find the money for new tanks), and that the animals can’t be released (we are suggesting that they be moved to protected sanctuaries, not just be dropped in the ocean). Anyone who has been watching SeaWorld’s house of cards fall knows better. But Manby did admit, “The original sin was taking the whales from the wild in the first place.”
Well, yes. And the current sin is keeping them there.
What You Can Do
Tell SeaWorld that PR-driven speeches won’t help the animals trapped in its tanks. They need to be retired to ocean sanctuaries, where they could have some semblance of a natural life.