ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld on Friday posted ads in a handful of newspapers around the nation in response to a critical documentary that inspired eight musical acts to cancel performances at the company's Orlando marine park.
SeaWorld posted the ad in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Orlando Sentinel, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Antonio Express-News. SeaWorld has parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.
Both the ad and open letter on its website, www.seaworldcares.com , describe SeaWorld as an advocate for animals and detail efforts to rescue and care for marine animals.
"Inaccurate reports recently have generated questions about SeaWorld and the animals in our care," the full-page ad said. "The truth is in our parks and people, and it's time to set the record straight."
On Friday, SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs said in an email: "We did the ads because there was a great deal of dishonesty and misinformation in the online discussion of SeaWorld over the last several weeks, and we felt an open letter was the best way to provide the truth about SeaWorld."
Eight out of 10 originally scheduled musical acts have pulled out of SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew and BBQ concert series in February, citing the documentary "Blackfish." Among the performers who have pulled out are Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, 38 Special, Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Heart. Many of the performers canceled after fans started a campaign petition on the advocacy website Change.org. SeaWorld says it has booked replacements but won't release names until all the new acts are confirmed