'Blackfish' To Make Television Premiere On CNN Thursday Night

Oct 23, 2013

An orca at Orlando's Sea World

A documentary about the captivity of orcas - called "Blackfish" - will make its national television debut on CNN at 8 pm on Thursday.

The documentary focuses its criticism on Sea World.

Blackfish examines why captive orcas – popularly known as killer whales – are killing and injuring trainers at aquatic parks like SeaWorld.

Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research, says he hopes the film will lead to the end of orca captivity.

“Well, it may lead to an eventual ending, which was coming anyway, but what I hope it leads to sooner is a real honest presentation of the animals and the people involved,” Balcomb said. “It’s just a show at present that self-promotes basically animal slavery.”

Sea World says the film exceeded the bounds of fair use by incorporating training film and other video shot by the company.

It also contends the film’s director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, positioned scenes to create a false implication of trouble or wrongdoing by Sea World.