Bindi Irwin: Major Backlash On Partnership With SeaWorld

    March 7, 2014
    Val Powell
    Comments are off for this post.

Bindi Irwin, the daughter of ‘crocodile hunter’ Steve Irwin, became the subject of criticism and controversy when she announced her partnership with SeaWorld.

The teen appeared on Good Morning America with her brother Robert and mother Terri. She shared her excitement in following her father’s footsteps by empowering kids through SeaWorld’s project Generation Nature. “I’m thrilled to be partnered up with SeaWorld… and just encouraging kids to change the world,” she added.

Bindi’s announcement


SeaWorld has come under heavy scrutiny ever since the documentary Blackfish was released last year. The award-winning film showed the poor conditions that the killer whales in SeaWorld’s theme parks are subjected to.  After the release of the documentary, protests ensued and many musical acts, such as Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, and Barenaked Ladies cancelled their performances in SeaWorld’s theme parks, most recently in SeaWorld Orlando’s concert series in February.

Documentary: ‘Blackfish’

The 15-year-old seemed to be ignorant of SeaWorld’s negative image as she went on to promote the company’s site.

The announcement immediately triggered a barrage of violent reactions and angry tweets from animal rights groups and concerned individuals. In Pat Fitzgerald’s Twitter post mentioning Bindi, he asked her if she had watched Blackfish, adding, “Please do not bring shame to your fathers name by colluding with #SeaWorld.”

Another tweet, this time from user Amanda Holliday, posed the question “How much do you think #SeaWorld had to pay Bindi Irwin to fix their image?”

Animal rights organization PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also had something to say, stating that the Irwins had been exploiting animals for years, so they were not surprised that the Bindi agreed to become SeaWorld’s endorser.

The statement noted that making Bindi the SeaWorld cover girl will never cover up the fact that animals are suffering in the theme parks’ tanks. “SeaWorld is no place for anyone who truly cares about animals,” PETA said in their statement, commenting that Bindi’s appearances on television are just the company’s desperate attempts to make money.

Image via Twitter

  • buschgardensfan98

    Do these people even know what they are talking about? Steve Irwin (Yes, with an I, not an E) was the director of one of the biggest zoos in the world. Zoos. Meaning animal captivity. So these people that are against Seaworld: why are you not against captivity for all animals? You supported Steve Irwin for his work with captive and wild animals and his shows with crocodiles, but denounce Bindi when she is doing the exact same thing, only with Seaworld and not the Australia Zoo. How is that logical? Steve was the face of animal captivity, but respected all wildlife, both captive abnd wild. Steve would have been the one to promote places like Seaworld for their efforts to educate youth about wildlife. So no, Bindi IS actually carrying on his legacy by supporting the same kind of places like the one her father started. What ignorance.

  • Jim Q

    Dad taught her well on how to torment animals.

  • Sally Newell

    It is so disappointing that Bindi Irwin (read Terri Irwin) has chosen to tarnish the Irwin family name by an alliance with SeaWorld with a knock on effect of whitewashing SeaWorld’s disgraceful central meme – making money from cetacean slaves.

    Even if SeaWorld does a few animal rescues and rehabs this does not excuse SeaWorld’s core business of profitable cetacean slavery. So now we find that Bindi Irwin is to be exploited as a piece of greenwash (we are really only a little bit bad because elsewhere that we do a lot of good) missing the main point – that cetacean slavery is not ok, and that it is immensely cruel. SeaWorld could transition into a highly profitable marine themed, human adventure centred business with no loss of jobs or amenity to the local area, without imprisoning highly intelligent family oriented beings and cutting short their lives.

    Why would anyone decide to go to SeaWorld? From the glossy surface of SeaWorld’s PR machine, parents are offered a pinnacle experience with a chance to connect with nature, a guaranteed feel good factor.

    Yet under the glossy facade there lies a horrifying tale of kidnappings murders and unbelievable cruelty. Started in 1970’s SeaWorld ripped hundreds of Orcas from their families, many died. After weighted bodies washed up the outcry led to legislation that forbade US Orca captures. Despite the no captured policy many SeaWorld dolphins have Taiji DNA. 17 dolphins die per one kidnapped, the $160,000 or so paid for a “trained” dolphin underwrites this barbaric genocidal slaughter, with agonising 10-20 minute deaths. The kidnapped dolphins are starved then force-fed with a mixture of drugs and dead fish, an then conditioned to do tricks with food deprivation. Many of these dolphins, or their offspring, find their way back to Western countries.

    SeaWorld demands sexual services from its highly intelligent cetaceans, infamously inbreeding direct kin; and the sad results include stillbirths and maternal deaths, and SeaWorld pools echo with the long sad cries of mothers when their babies are taken away from them. Merely saying that Tilikum’s offspring do not share his aggressive tendencies, or that SeaWorld has taken “extraordinary steps” and is evolving its training protocols ignores the fundamental issue that it is wrong to keep cetaceans in tank only several times bigger than their body lengths when they are used to swimming 40-100km per day in the wild and interacting with their whole families for all of their lives.

    Dolphins and whales are highly intelligent and call each other by name. Captive cetaceans have remembered their family members names even after twenty years. Their language is so complexly structured that we may have difficulty in deciphering it for quite some time, and it appears that they use non-linear maths everyday in acquiring food.

    SeaWorld imprisons cetaceans in tiny tanks, and shortens their lives. Instead of living 50-100 years, they are force-fed and drugged, or ripped from their mothers early and live only 9 years on average. It is so wrong to imprison such powerful magnificent sea beings in reflective tanks that effectively blind them.

    SeaWorld defends its existence citing “conservation efforts and research” but they spend much less than 1% of their gross on conservation. SeaWorld has never released an Orca back to the wild. SeaWorld pays for severed Beluga male organs thus funding Beluga slaughter, for their inbreeding program. Going to SeaWorld is as educational about cetaceans as a visitor from Mars looking at humans in solitary confinement, or asking the Kings College Choir to sing Three Blind Mice. Where else do animals have to perform mindless tricks to even get fed except at a circus. This is not conservation, but exploitation!

    SeaWorld paid part owners Blackstone 657 Million dollars from less than one year’s take. The directors have been dumping stock and SEAS is on the nose, as the general public wakes up to the awful cruelty at SeaWorld. Being ripped from your family and being forced to swim in tiny circles rather in the open ocean to do silly tricks for human entertainment, and huge profits for SeaWorld owners, directors and shareholders, could be only be described as modern day slavery.

    Bindi please respect yourself and dump your alliance with SeaWorld – promoting cetacean slavery is so wrong and cruel. Please have a heart and become educated!

  • Sally Newell

    Perhaps this was what went down..

    Movie Brainwave!!

    Setting: Big Jim’s Special Mountain Retreat

    BCU on BJ “Well guys, I pay you enough, you have to come up with something”

    Pan shot sliding over many folders cups of coffee, pizza boxes, to a gleaming expresso machine apparently the size of a railroad car

    Reflection shot: BJ stands and bellows “No one is leaving until we have the cure” Heavy silence – camera slowly sides along the machine until there is an out of focus dark screen with odd white shapes appearing and disappearing ..” When you look into their eyes..

    “Shut it” Camera on BJ’s eyes – screwed up in pain – “I heard the bloody thing a million times – we have to come up with something GREAT.”

    He paces at the window – looking up at snowy peaks – “who could we think of who would have more “spiritual power” ? Roaring now “Come on – think of your stock options and your bonuses!”

    Rustles, scribbles, muttering .. someone ventures up and is glared at..

    Slow pans over stock analysis figures, empty coffee cups.. The light starts to fade..

    “That’s it” “I got it” swelling music and cheering slowly mounting in the background

    “Our very own Dolphin Rescue Movie!!

    Starring Bindi Irwin”