SeaWorld Faces Major Setback Following Investigation Over 'Blackfish' Documentary; Shareholders Express Fear Over Financial Woes
SeaWorld is reportedly facing a major setback due to the ongoing federal investigation of the impact of its "Blackfish" documentary. Despite this issue, the company has been assuring its shareholders that this would be settled in just a matter of time.
When SeaWorld was engulfed with this controversy, the shareholders started to fear that this will affect the stocks they have in the company. But recently, it said that it is moving beyond the issue as well as the financial woes which came following the Blackfish documentary.
The so-called "Blackfish" documentary was shown last 2013 and this exposed how SeaWorld treated its killer whales. The said documentary gained criticisms and the theme park refused to discuss the matter or the film to the public or to the press.
But last August of 2014, SeaWorld broke its silence and claimed that the negative attention it gained over the controversial documentary hurt its earning and affected its attendance. Now, the authorities are conducting investigations and are asking questions about the issue.
According to The Independent, SeaWorld just received subpoena this June and this was connected to the investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. It can be recalled that the investigation centered on public statements and disclosures made by the theme park company which then included the "Blackfish" documentary.
Apart from the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission also sent subpoenas to SeaWorld still on the same issues and charges. According to the theme park company, it already formed a committee which would look and study the matters. Moreover, the company also sought the services of a legal counsel.
SeaWorld so far has been cooperating with regards to the investigation and will continue to work with the government for their inquiries and requests. However, the SEC and the Department of Justice did not give their respective comments.
The "Blackfish" documentary featured Tilikum an orca which killed a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando along with two more people. Since the release of the film, the company lost money and partnerships.