'Blackfish' prompts Heart to cancel SeaWorld gig

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm •  Published: December 9, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The rock bands Heart and Barenaked Ladies along with country singer Willie Nelson have canceled their planned performances at SeaWorld in Florida, citing the recent documentary "Blackfish," which raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.

Joan Jett on Monday also joined the list of recording artists distancing themselves from the marine park when she sent a letter to SeaWorld President Jim Atchison asking that the park stop using her song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" as the opening music for its "Shamu Rocks" show.

"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 said in the letter.

A SeaWorld spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter.

Heart was the latest act in the past week to cancel appearances at SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & Barbecue music series in February, making their announcement over the weekend. The series is held over several weekends and features top classic rock and country acts.

A posting on Heart's official Twitter page said the decision was influenced by the recently-released documentary "Blackfish." The documentary raises questions about the effects of captivity on killer whales at marine parks such as SeaWorld.

Nelson and Barenaked Ladies made their decisions after fans launched Change.org petitions urging them not to perform at SeaWorld.

Barenaked Ladies said in a statement provided by their spokeswoman: "We watch movies too, ya know!"

"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," the statement said.

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.



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