Rethinking SeaWorld post-Blackfish

SRQ Backlot

During the panel after the screening of Blackfish, former SeaWorld trainers and director Gabriela Cowperthwaite mentioned that a recent IPO update for the company that owns SeaWorld had to list the release of this movie as something that could potentially devalue the property. It’s funny that a movie which to date has screened to three film festival audiences, the most recent one Friday night at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, could be marked as such a threat to a multi-billion company, but if anyone doubted this film’s potential to create real problems at Shamu Stadium, the reaction from the Sarasota crowd should erase that.

Unlike when Blackfish screened at Sundance, or even in Miami, the crowd at the Purple Cow on Friday night was one intimately familiarity both with the orca shows at SeaWorld and the shocking news story of a whale killing a trainer in 2010. As…

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