Bindi Irwin, Steve Irwin’s Daughter, Facing Backlash For SeaWorld Partnership

By: Tobias Roth - March 7, 2014

After all of the problems that SeaWorld has had since the release of the groundbreaking documentary Blackfish, it is surprising that someone like Bindi Irwin would want to be involved with the organization in any way.

Bindi Irwin is the 15-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin, who spent his life working with wild animals, and eventually died while on the job. She recently appeared on Good Morning America, along with her brother and mother, in order to announce that she would be partnering with SeaWorld as their youth ambassador.

The Irwin family was interviewed by Robin Roberts on the show, and while people watching it may certainly have been thinking it, the controversial practices revolving around the dangers of keeping orcas captive was not discussed during the interview.

Bindi’s work with SeaWorld will include an initiative called Generation Nature, which she says is “all about encouraging kids to get involved and be game-changers for wildlife in wild places.” Given that whales at SeaWorld are no longer in a wild place, the amusement park may be an odd location for this type of an initiative.

After losing their reputation for most people as an attractive place for families to go, and expose their kids to the entertainment that the whales provide, perhaps this is SeaWorld’s effort to get people back on their side.

However, some people are certainly able to see past this, and her partnership with the park that has been dubbed an “abusement park,” has received great backlash from animal rights groups such as PETA. A petition has been started already in order to urge Bindi Irwin not to collaborate with SeaWorld.

In a strong statement from PETA, the organization said “What millions have realized—through PETA’s massive campaign and the hit documentary Blackfish—is that SeaWorld is no place for anyone who truly cares about animals. Bindi’s talk-show appearances are just a flimsy last-ditch effort by an abusement park hoping to make a buck.”

The SeaWorld organization has been boycotted by a large number of celebrities, including several musical acts such as Martina McBride, REO Speedwagon and more, who were booked to play a concert series. They all backed out after being petitioned by animal rights activists and ordinary citizens, who told them not to perform there.

With what her dad did on his show, people could think that she is actually in support of the animals, but if that were the case, why is she choosing to align her self with SeaWorld after everything that has been going on with them in the past year?

Bindi Irwin seems to have positive intentions in wanting to educate kids about wild animals, and even describing the kids as the next generation that needs to change the world. Is it possible that she was somehow shielded from the attention that Blackfish drew to SeaWorld in the past year?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Tobias Roth

About the Author

Tobias RothTobias Roth is a writer, and received his bachelor's degree in English with a concentration on Film Studies from Michigan State University. He has always loved watching movies and enjoys live music when he can. He also loves being outdoors and enjoys a good game of ultimate frisbee. Follow him on Twitter: @tobiasiroth

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  • ChristopheRich

    The only “problem” at SeaWorld is: I can’t find a place to park its so crowded!!! Always a TWO HOUR line at the penguin exhibit too.