Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Tuesday, 10 November 2015

SeaWorld To Halt Killer Whale Displays After Harry Styles’s Backlash

SeaWorld To Halt Killer Whale Displays After Harry Styles’s Backlash

The Debrief: Harry Styles allegedly had a bigger impact on dwindling attendance numbers at the theme park than Blackfish…

Have you ever seen the film Rust + Bone? You really should, it’s great, and as well as putting you off of whaley/dolphiny theme parks, you’ll never be able to listen to Katy Perry’s Firework again.

If you haven’t seen it, then here’s something on Netflix we can give you spoilers for. It’s Blackfish, the documentary all about SeaWorld that has changed the minds and hearts of basically everyone who watches it. It purports to show animal cruelty in the parks, where animals like dolphins and whales (yep, they’re mammals, so they’re animals) are trained to do tricks.

One person who’s certainly watched Blackfish is Harry Styles – yes, even though One Direction bandmate Liam Payne hasn’t had time in their hectic schedule to watch the films they’re starring in.

And it prompted him to speak out. While performing in San Diego earlier this year, he asked fans: ‘Does anybody like dolphins?’ When they roared ‘yes’, he simply responded: ‘Don’t go to SeaWorld’.

According to Credit Suisse, reported the BBC, Harry’s comments caused a 400% spike in mentions of the brand and a 13% increase in negative commentary about it. This had more of a detrimental effect on SeaWorld than Blackfish did, they said. Since the 2013 release of the documentary, the theme park has seen its shares halve in value.

Anyway, with fewer and fewer people going to SeaWorld, its chief executive has said it will be phasing out the killer whale and dolphin trick display shows. By 2017, the BBC reports that these once crowd-pulling shows will be replaced with a new orca experience in a ‘more natural’ setting.

Will Harry be pleased now? We whaley hope so.

Sorry, we had to.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Harry Styles, Only In America, Animals