Martina McBride has joined the list of musicians who have pulled out of their upcoming SeaWorld performances. She follows fellow country artists Willie Nelson and Trisha Yearwood who pulled out earlier this month in response to the recently released documentary Blackfish.
“I’ve decided that given all the issues that have been aired recently, the time isn’t right for me to play at Seaworld. I have cancelled my scheduled performance at the Bands, [Brew] & BBQ event in March 2014,” McBride wrote on her Facebook page.
SeaWorld came under fire with the release of the documentary Blackfish, which followed the life in captivity of an orca (a.k.a. ‘killer whale’). The orca, named Tilikum, attacked and killed his trainer Dawn Brancheau and two others in three separate instances, and the film suggests that it was his life in captivity that caused the whale’s aggression. Watch the trailer below.
McBride isn’t the first singer to speak her mind on leaving this performance, in fact she’s the seventh performer to drop out of SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ event. Earlier this month, Willie Nelson expressed his choice to leave his SeaWorld gig next year. The web page for the event now asks fans to “stay tuned for the 2014 concert lineup.”
“I don’t agree with the way they treat their animals,” Nelson told CNN. “It wasn’t that hard a deal for me.”
Nelson had received many calls asking him to cancel his show. After his great grandchild told him about a petition, which received 9,000 signatures, from fans asking him not to play the venue, he decided it was the right decision to cancel the show.
A similar petition was also created via Change.org to urge McBride not to play her SeaWorld gig and amassed 25,000 signatures before she decided to cancel.
"Due to concerns regarding our February 16th appearance at SeaWorld, we have chosen to cancel the performance."—
REO Speedwagon (@kcreospeedwagon) December 13, 2013
SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said in an earlier statement that marine park officials respect the performers’ decisions, noting that they were disappointed that “a small group of misinformed individuals” was able to influence the performers.
“The bands and artists have a standing invitation to visit any of our parks to see firsthand or to speak to any of our animal experts to learn for themselves how we care for animals and how little truth there is to the allegations made by animal extremist groups opposed to the zoological display of marine mammals,” Gollattscheck said.