Fans of the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are expressing their disappointment in the parade planners for allowing SeaWorld to have a float in this year's parade. SeaWorld, a large zoological organization famous for its captive marine mammals has been under public fire since the release of the documentary "Blackfish." Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, "Blackfish" tells the story of Tilikum a 12,000 pound bull orca currently living at SeaWorld, Orlando. Tilikum was responsible for the death of SeaWorld trainer in 2010. The orca affectionately known as Tilly has become the center of a debate about the ethics of captive orcas.
"The magicians of Macy's Parade Studio have outdone themselves yet again with the awe-inspiring and entertaining design of the new SeaWorld float," said the executive producer of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Amy Kule to Business Wire. "With its diverse and majestic depictions of sea creatures transformed into larger than life form, the "A Sea of Surprises" float is sure to inspire millions of children and adults to learn more about, appreciate and enjoy all forms of aquatic life."
Since the release of 'Blackfish" many people have come out to speak against SeaWorld and their practice of keeping large marine mammals in tight spaces, forcing them to perform tricks. Macy's has been facing some negative backlash concerning the float which will appear in the parade 43 days from now. On November 28th SeaWorld will debut their "A Sea of Surprises" float which will feature a number of sea creatures including sea turtles, whales and penguins.
Despite the float's elaborate decorations, many Macy's fans are unhappy about that fact that SeaWorld will be allowed to debut the float. A petition has circulated demanding the float be removed from the beloved parade. The Macy's Facebook page is filled with angry comments regarding the float. The Animal rights group PETA has left posters on the page depicting orcas in chains and fishbowls. Below the images of the animals are slogans that read: "Macy's: Stop Celebrating Cruelty," and "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Charade." Many people have left comments for Macy's saying they believe SeaWorld treats its animals unethically and wish for the float to be removed.
Rose McCall a fan of Macy's on Facebook wrote to the department store saying, "I am a fan of your store, but I'm strongly against the ethics of SeaWorld. Please know that by allowing a float in this year's parade, promoting the cruelty of captivity, you will be endorsing the kidnap, torture and killing of beautiful wildlife that should be left in our oceans. Please do the right thing, Macy's. Your reach and decisions can influence millions." "Blackfish" director Gabriela Cowperthwaite is also hoping Macy's will decide to remove SeaWorld's float.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite spoke with Latin Times regarding the SeaWorld float. Cowperthwaite said, "The Macy's parade is beloved by so many people, especially children. I think the more businesses identify with SeaWorld the more outdated they seem. I hope Macy's stays relevant. I hope they do the right thing." A contender for an Oscar nomination in the best documentary category "Blackfish" asks viewers to consider the factors that went into Tilikum's attack on Dawn Brancheau. "Blackfish" proposes that captive orcas are time bombs waiting to explode because during their time in captivity the whales developed a psychosis.
As a result of "Blackfish" people who would not consider themselves animal rights activists find themselves fighting for these animals. Even celebrities have joined the cause. Actress Faye Marsay of the Starz original series "The White Queen" tweeted "Everyone should watch the documentary "Blackfish." It's heartbreaking. No to making money out of wild animals! Disgusting." "The Walking Dead" actress Christina Serratos also took to Twitter in order to voice her disappointment in Macy's SeaWorld float. The actress writes, "Had no idea [Macy's] supported [SeaWorld] makes me think twice about shopping there...Orcas need [you!] Please ask [Macy's] to cancel [SeaWorld's] float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade."
Latin Times spoke to Orlando Veras a Macy's Parade Spokesman. Veras told the Latin Times that Macy's is aware that there are numerous different opinions regarding SeaWorld and the float. "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is intended to entertain the public. Our newest float with SeaWorld is being included in the 2013 Parade line-up, to illustrate the wonder of marine life in a manner that inspires millions to learn more about our oceans. While we understand that there may be differing views about this float, no other message or endorsement is intended. Great family entertainment is the sole focus of this float and of the Parade in general."
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