SeaWorld’s lacking in celebrity love these days: Willie Nelson, Heart and Barenaked Ladies all canceled performances at the Orlando water park in the wake of the controversial documentary “Blackfish,” which exposed its alleged inhumane treatment of whales. Now Joan Jett, who already gained attention for her animal rights crusade when she was booted from a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float, is demanding that SeaWorld stop using recordings of her music in its “Shamu Rocks” show. (After a similar request from Tommy Lee last year, the show is also prohibited from using Mötley Crüe songs.)
In an open letter to Jim Atchison, SeaWorld’s president and CEO, Jett wrote:
I was surprised and upset to see on YouTube that SeaWorld used “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” as the opening music for its cruel and abusive “Shamu Rocks” show. I’m among the millions who saw Blackfish and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals. These intelligent and feeling creatures communicate by sonar and are driven crazy in the tiny tanks in which they are confined. If I don’t receive written confirmation that SeaWorld will cease and desist from using any Joan Jett & the Blackhearts music, I will be forced to take further action, and you’ll find me among the PETA protesters outside your parks.
Sea World’s reliance on cruelty and captivity for commerce has been widely exposed. I hope you’ll take the respectable path and release the captive orcas to coastal sanctuaries so that they can live out their lives with other orcas in nature. This move would show that your company is truly family-friendly.
Here’s the video Jett was likely referring to: