The "Blackfish" documentary, which tells the story of the 2010 death of a whale trainer, has been called inaccurate and misleading by SeaWorld. The documentary follows the life and untimely death of Dawn Brancheau, who was a whale trainer, but was killed by an orca whale called Tilikum in 2010.
- (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)
However, the Blackfish documentary has now been condemned by SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, saying that it exploits the tragedy of the trainer's death.
According to ABC News, a statement has been released by SeaWorld saying, "Instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and, regrettably, exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau's family, friends and colleagues."
Reports have described the documentary as focusing on the unanswered questions from when Tilikum dragged Brancheau into the water after a performance in February 2010.
The incident killed the trainer, and was described as the third human death related to the 22 foot, 12,000 pound orca whale.
The documentary has angered those in SeaWorld, as it seems to assert that the three deaths could have been prevented if SeaWorld and other similar marine parks stopped keeping the whales in captivity.
The documentary, which is directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, seems to imply that keeping the whales in captivity causes them to behave in more extreme ways, Rolling Stone has reported.
SeaWorld has said that the documentary, however, "fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its own team members and guests."
Cowperthwaite has since released a response to SeaWorld's comments saying, "I think SeaWorld is just looking to sow a seed of doubt because they have to. There were so many things I didn't include because they took us away from Tilikum, but they were very disturbing and could have easily loaded the film and turned it into a piece of activism — which was never my intent."
Following Brancheau's death, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered SeaWorld to keep trainers behind barriers, due to the risks they were facing.
SeaWorld is appealing that ruling claiming that the OSHA has a "fundamental misunderstanding of how to properly and safely care for and work around these animals."