Martina McBride Cancels SeaWorld Gig Following ‘Blackfish’ Backlash

Martina McBride cancels SeaWorld gig due to Blackfish controversy

Martina McBride has canceled her performance at SeaWorld due to fallout from the documentary Blackfish.

“I’ve decided that given all the issues that have been aired recently, the time isn’t right for me to play at Seaworld,” McBride wrote on Facebook over the weekend. “I have canceled my scheduled performance at the Bands, Blues & BBQ event in March 2014.”

McBride is at least the seventh act to cancel a SeaWorld gig in recent weeks. REO Speedwagon announced that it was canceling its performance Friday. Other performers who have canceled their shows at SeaWorld include Heart, Trisha Yearwood, Cheap Trick, Willie Nelson, and Barenaked Ladies.

“This is a complicated issue, and we don’t claim to understand all of it, but we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time,” the Canadian rock band wrote on its Facebook page following a petition to cancel their performance.

Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart did not elaborate on why they canceled their performance, but acknowledged that it was “due to the controversial documentary film.”

Willie Nelson said he canceled his gig because he doesn’t “agree with the way they treat their animals.”

SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said the marine park expects other musicians to be targeted.

“We’re disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld,” he said. Gollattscheck also said the musicians have a “standing invitation” to visit any of SeaWorld’s parks or to speak to their 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.”

Blackfish is a documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwaite that focuses on Tilikum, a 12,000 pound killer whale that has been involved in the deaths of three individuals at SeaWorld, including trainer Dawn Brancheau. Cowperthwaite said she thought Brancheau’s death was an accidental drowning, but once she “started to peel back the onion,” she realized that she was going to be making a completely different film.

SeaWorld slammed Blackfish as “inaccurate and misleading,” and said that it “exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancheau’s family, friends, and colleagues.”

[Photo credit: s_bukley /]