SeaWorld stock plummets amid 'Blackfish' controversy

By Michelle Kapusta,

SeaWorld Entertainment shares have taken a major plunge and the company has blamed the dip on the negative attention it received after Blackfish was released.

According to the Los Angeles Times, SeaWorld has publicly admitted that the lower attendance numbers can be attributed to the controversy which followed the movie’s premiere. The Orlando-based company also reported lower than usual attendance numbers from April through June.

"The company believes attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California," SeaWorld said in its earnings release.

The Wall Street Journal noted that SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) shares are down 22 percent over the past year and had fallen to 26 percent in the morning trading.

In 2013, the documentary Blackfish, which highlighted the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld, debuted.

The film chronicled one whale in particular named Tilikum. The killer whale was involved in the deaths of three individuals while in captivity. The movie spawned protests from several animal rights groups.

The Times reported that SeaWorld has since posted a counter response on social media of current park trainers talking about their love for whales.

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