The television premiere of Blackfish on October 24 was pretty impressive. 

Almost half a million people tuned into CNN to see the documentary, which tells the story of Tillikum the orca. It repeatedly aired over the next few days, and according to a Crossfire poll, 86% of respondents said they would not take their children to SeaWorld.

Here’s what I got out of the documentary: kidnapping an animal from the wild and putting him into captivity is wrong. Taking a baby from her mother, be it an orca, an elephant, or cow, is wrong. Pretending that the injured and killed trainers are at fault when a wild animal acts out is wrong.

I think it’s wonderful that CNN aired this film. I’m happy to see so many people react – including such musical acts as the Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, and Heart, who pulled out of performing at the park, and Joan Jett, who asked that SeaWorld stop using her music in its shows. 

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised to hear that there are people who continue to defend SeaWorld, but I hope that they are outnumbered by the people who make this connection: An animal is an animal is an animal, and none of them deserve to become exploited.

Did you catch Blackfish? What do you think about the film and its reach? Let’s talk about it!

Photo: Blackfish Official Film Site