Bindi Irwin: Major Backlash On Partnership With SeaWorldBy: Val Powell - March 7, 2014
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.
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.
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