Heart, Barenaked Ladies, and Willie Nelson cancel SeaWorld shows, citing Blackfish's influence

Heart, Barenaked Ladies, and Willie Nelson cancel SeaWorld shows, citing Blackfish's influence

Heart, Willie Nelson, and Barenaked Ladies have all cancelled upcoming gigs at SeaWorld, saying that the documentary Blackfish has led them to question the park’s treatment of killer whales.

Barenaked Ladies decided to cancel their Feb. 2014 show at the park’s Orlando venue after fans launched a petition online. Drummer Tyler Stewart said he was “affected” by the movie, and the band as a whole noted that, while Blackfish presents “a complicated issue… we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time.” To SeaWorld’s credit, Barenaked Ladies said the park has “been gracious” about the cancellation, and has even extended them “invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it.”  

Willie Nelson told CNN he got a number of petitions from people asking him not to play the venue, including one that was presented by his granddaughter. Ultimately, Nelson said the decision to cancel his appearance at the park’s 2014 Bands, Brew & BBQ event “wasn’t that hard a deal for” him, since he doesn’t “agree with the way [SeaWorld]” treats its animals.

A SeaWorld spokesman tells CNN that the park respects the artists’ decisions, though it’s “disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld.” 

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