Actor Alec Baldwin will make a bold statement to SeaWorld executives during the company’s annual meeting later today. As part of a campaign organized by animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Alec Baldwin plans to ask, “When will SeaWorld stop allowing trainers to use dolphins as surfboards, standing on their faces and backs, to perform circus-style shows?” during the online conference meeting. In conjunction with Baldwin’s digital presence, PETA protestors will surround SeaWorld’s Orlando, FL office with signs that read “SeaWorld: Stop Standing on Dolphins’ Faces!” This campaign follows a PETA-led conference last week in San Diego that involved a team of experts discussing a recent veterinary report that revealed that dolphins in all three of SeaWorld’s parks are suffering from open wounds and scarring on their faces and bodies. “It’s unacceptable that smart, sensitive dolphins are being used as surfboards and launch pads in demeaning SeaWorld spectacles,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said. “PETA and Mr. Baldwin are demanding that SeaWorld trainers take their feet off these animals’ backs and faces.” After the release of 2013 documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld has received increased criticism over its confinement of marine life for entertainment purposes, which resulted in deep losses in profit and attendance and pushed the company to cease breeding orcas in captivity in 2016 and to cancel its orca performances by Summer 2018. In recent years, many marine animals—including beluga whale Stella, dolphin Dart, and orca Tilikum, the subject of Blackfish—have died in captivity due to skin diseases and lung infections. This week, Canada’s Parliament passed the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act which prohibits the wild capture, captivity, and breeding of whales, dolphins, and porpoises and protects already captive marine animals from being used for profit.
Photo Credit: GQ