Featured in Chapter 7 of the 10th edition, SeaWorld has not responded well to controversy about keeping orcas in captivity. Tillikum, an orca with a starring role in the movie Blackfish, died on January 6. In response, SeaWorld updated its Tillikum page with news about his "life and care," which, of course, have been in question for the 25 years he lived and worked at the park. The company also produced a video, "In Memory of Tillikum."
In a statement on its website, the company does acknowledge Dawn Bradshaw's death. However, the recent approach seems to blame Tillikum, while previous communications blamed Bradshaw and her wayward ponytail.
In December, PETA named Tillikum its first "animal of the year." When he died, PETA president and founder Ingrid Newkirk wrote an opinion article for Time Inc. titled, "Tillikum Died for His Freedom."
- How well is SeaWorld handling communications around Tillikum's death? Should the company do something differently now?
- How well is PETA capitalizing on the chance to get its message out? What persuasive strategies does Newkirk use in her Time Inc. op-ed? Was a Time article a good choice? What other channels did PETA use?