Joan Jett Demands SeaWorld Stop Playing "I Love Rock 'n Roll"
via Wikimedia Commons
You can now add Joan Jett as the latest classic-rock artist to come at SeaWorld with anger and protest thanks to the Blackfish documentary.
In the wake of acts like Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, and Heart dropping out of the park's Bands, Brew & Barbecue music fest over the past week, Jett has sent SeaWorld a letter asking it to stop playing her hit "I Love Rock 'n Roll."
SeaWorld had been playing the song during its Shamu Rocks killer whale shows.
"I'm among the millions who saw 'Blackfish' and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals," Jett's letter to SeaWorld says.
SeaWorld President Jim Atchison confirmed to the AP via email that he did indeed receive a letter from Joan Jett. But Atchison also says that the song was played as walk-in music for the trainers and that it had been fully licensed to the park for use.
Atchison also said that the park had stopped playing the song before receiving Jett's letter and that it had no plans on continuing to use it for upcoming Shamu Rocks shows.
Backlash from the Blackfish documentary, which exposes the dangers of keeping orcas in captivity and interviews former trainers who speak of their regret over harming the animals, has prompted online petitions from people asking artists to bail on SeaWorld's music fest, which is set to kickoff February 1.
When Barenaked Ladies' fans swarmed their twitter asking them to back out, the band did so, releasing a statement on its official website.
"This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it," the statement read. "But we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time. The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it."
Willie Nelson soon followed with a cancellation of his own after 8,500 fans signed a petition asking him to cancel his February 1 show.
Then came Heart, which took to Twitter to announce its cancellation and its disgust with SeaWorld.
Since then, the park has issued a statement saying they respect the artists' decision to cancel but expressed disappointment that they would be influenced to do so by "animal extremist groups."
"The bands and artists have a standing invitation to visit any of our parks to see firsthand or to speak to any of our animal experts to learn for themselves how we care for animals and how little truth there is to the allegations made by animal extremist groups opposed to the zoological display of marine mammals," the statement says.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.