Joan Jett, Heart among artists boycotting Sea World amid ‘Blackfish’ controversy
Joan Jett has asked Sea World to stop playing her music and the bands Heart and Barenaked Ladies along with Willie Nelson have canceled upcoming gigs at the Orlando park because of the uproar surrounding the recent documentary Blackfish, the Associated Press reports.
“I’m among the millions who saw Blackfish and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals,” Jett wrote in a letter to SeaWorld president Jim Atchison.
The park had been playing her song I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll as its walk-in music for the Shamu Rocks show, but has since pulled it. Well, that’s good to hear. That song — no matter how awesome — is so overplayed, forcing it on anyone is cruel.
Blackfish, which addresses the effects of captivity on whales, questions what may have caused Tilikum the orca to kill a trainer in 2010. Tilikum was also involved in two other deaths.
Heart, Nelson and Barenaked Ladies were persuaded by change.org petitions to cancel upcoming shows at the Bands, Brew & Barbecue music series in February.
“The Sea World show was planned long ago,” Heart said on its official Twitter page. “Had we known, we’d have said no then. We said no today. Love you all.”
“This is a complicated issue, and we don’t claim to understand all of it, but we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time,” Barenaked Ladies said in a statement. SeaWorld officials “have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it,” it said.
The waves may continue as still more artists are being asked through change.org to cancel Sea World appearances. Among them are Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon and Trisha Yearwood.
Company spokesman Nick Gollattscheck says the bands and artists are welcome to check out the park and talk to the animal experts to see “how we care for animals and how little truth there is to the allegations made by animal extremist groups opposed to the zoological display of marine mammals.”
Darn those extremists, what with their pesky mission to protect living creatures.