Blackfish Movie



  1. Seaworld failed terribly in terms of communication, give 4 examples of failure?

  1. Addressing every accusation – Seaworld failed because it addressed the allegedly false information and left out true accusations. Although accepting blame may be challenging for an organization, the management should have accepted addressed their fault and apologized to the public instead of ignoring the truth. The organization allowed the public to hear the accusations from other sources such as “Blackfish” which did not include Seaworld’s perception of the problem.

  2. Failing to remain present in the communication – Seaworld responded about the issue once, and then remained silent as the topic became popular. They failed to respond to tweets, questions and other concerns from their customers, which increased the clients’ mistrust towards the organization.

  3. Lying during official statements – Seaworld distorted facts concerning some of the events that occurred after the accident. For instance, Seaworld claimed that “Blackfish” cheated by claiming that Seaworld blamed Dawn Brancheau’s death on herself. However, the movie used a clip of the Seaworld’s spokesperson (Thad Lacink) who clearly stated that if the victim were alive and standing next to him, she would admit that the death was her fault because they had been warned against going close to Tilikum.

  4. Provide verbal or visual response to crises – Seaworld declined giving visual and verbal response to Blackfish’s” movie accusations. Besides, they declined interview requests that the fans of the movie demanded.

  1. Did the management of Seaworld do what was required? Did they protect the investors? Did they protect the massive investment in park infrastructure? Seaworld management failed to do what was required because failing to address the accusations increased distrust of their customers towards the organization. Mistrust towards the organization could reduce annual visitors to the park. This could lead to losses that could make investors withdraw their capital and render the massive investment in the park useless.

  2. Did they behave in an ethical manner?

Seaworlddid not behave in an ethical manner as it exaggerated the truthduring the initial press statement concerning the events that led totheir trainer’s death. Second, the organization addressed only theaccusations it deemed false while leaving out the issues it was atfault. Third, Seaworld failed to respond to communications fromtheir concerned customers over the accusations Blackfish movie made.

  1. The movie “Blackfish” did not just appear. Seaworld management should have been aware of this project, has management been effective in defusing the effect of the movie? Does it appear that an effective public relations campaign has occurred or is management in crisis?

No,the management failed to defuse the “blackfish” movie effectivelyuntil it became popular. The public relations attempted to repair thebad reputation the movie had caused the firm, but with littlesuccess. Furthermore, the management shunned the media as the moviecontinued painting a negative picture towards the firm thereby,indicating that Seaworld’s public relations is in chaos.

  1. Is management of Seaworld accessory to manslaughter? (definition: the crime of killing a person without intending to do so)

Seaworldmanagement is not an accessory for manslaughter because it hadstipulated strict warnings to whale trainers to avoid getting closeto Tilikum. They had observed that the killer shark dangerousbehaviors that warranted humans to avoid him. Second, SeaworldOrlando management had a rescue procedure that could help in savingindividuals in crises, but the method failed to work with DawnBrancheau. Besides, the management offered safety training to sharktrainers. For example, trainers are advised never to turn their backto an animal during the shows.

  1. Your thoughts?

Inmy view, the `Blackfish` poll was genuine since the votes cast fromSeaworld were likely made by the organization’s staff. The pollwas open to everyone with access to the Orlando Business Journal.Furthermore, the positive ratings continued to dominate (70%) even asthe poll reached over 1700 voters. Blackfish focused on a fewnegative and correctable issues affecting Seaworld, but theorganization had many other positive attributes it had acquiredduring the over four decades operation term. For example, it hasmade substantial contribution to animal research preservation andeducation.

  1. You’re the president of Seaworld, now what?

IfI were the president of the Seaworld, I would focus on enhancingpublic relations through responding to accusations made in“Blackfish” movie. I would also encourage the entire staff toanalyze professionals’ recommendations towards improving the parksafety. Besides, I would constitute an emergency public relationsteam to combat negative publicity the movie could be spreading. Theteam would also be responsible to keep the customers engaged on thesocial media platforms.


Cowperthwaite,G. (2013, October). TheBlacksfish.Film. Video retrieved from