Rather than lying low and waiting for the storm to pass as companies profiled in unflattering documentary exposés often do, SeaWorld, advised by the communications firm 42West, has taken the opposite approach.
Before last week’s New York and Los Angeles release of the Magnolia Pictures documentary “Blackfish,” which makes the case that orca whales in captivity suffer physical and mental distress, SeaWorld Entertainment took preemptive action in an attempt to prevent potential damage to its reputation.
About a week before the film’s release, the company sent a detailed critique of the movie to about 50 critics who were presumably about to review it. Among other things, SeaWorld claims that “Blackfish” exceeded the bounds of fair use by using training film and other video shot by the company. SeaWorld also says that filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite deliberately positioned some scenes to create what SeaWorld executives claim is a false implication of wrongdoing. Additionally, by midweek last week the company was providing top executives and animal caretakers for interviews about the movie. Read more