- (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)
Heart is the latest rock band to pull out of their scheduled show at SeaWorld due to the growing controversy surrounding the recently released "Blackfish" documentary.
"Heart has chosen to decline their forthcoming performance at SeaWorld on 2/9/14 due to the controversial documentary film 'Blackfish,'" the band said Sunday on its verified Twitter account.
The band is not the first group to cancel their appearance due to the backlash over the film. Country singer Willie Nelson and Canadian rock act Barenaked Ladies also canceled their shows.
"While we're disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld by Heart, Barenaked Ladies and Willie Nelson, we respect the bands' decisions," SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck told CNN.
The film tells the story of a killer whale named Tilikum. In 1983, the whale was captured off the coast of Iceland and then moved to the theme park and was trained to perform. Tilikum killed three people between 1991 and 2010.
The 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau inspired Gabriela Cowperthwaite to question the practice of keeping orcas in captivity. Through her film, Cowperthwaite hopes to raise awareness about the danger and inhumanity of using the whales as a form of entertainment.
However, the Blackfish documentary was condemned by SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, saying that it exploits the tragedy of the trainer's death and is filled with inaccuracies.
"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," the statement was released by SeaWorld stated.
The documentary focused 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.