‘Blackfish’ Director Criticizes SeaWorld’s Dumb Thanksgiving Day Float

11.26.14 4 years ago 25 Comments

I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Large families stand in huge crowds, only to strain their necks for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stare into Spongebob’s giant inflatable crotch. Still, Spongebob’s junk and Macy’s parade have a powerful hold on the American imagination, which is probably why Blackfish Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite recently came out so strongly against SeaWorld’s Thanksgiving Day float.

In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Cowperthwaite said:

“It’s just so strange to me,” Cowperthwaite told Yahoo Movies on Tuesday. “Virgin AirlinesSouthwest AirlinesPanama Jack, [and] countless other companies and people have disassociated from SeaWorld, and I think we’re living in a time of some serious ethical housekeeping. It would make perfect sense for Macy’s to join this movement. The idea where a company doesn’t care what its partners stand for [is] is a business model that is going out style.”

Fair criticism, but I can’t imagine that Macy’s – who sponsored every bad JNCO decision I made, ’93-’97 –  is the most conscientious player in the biz. From Orlando Veras, Macy’s spokesman:

“The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate, or other forms of advocacy, no matter how worthwhile”

What Veras fails to understand is that representation does equal advocacy, and that the Macy’s day parade – which attracts over 50 million television viewers – totally represents. For Cowperthwaite, Macy’s couldn’t “even imagine a more brazen and tactless thing.”

Blackfish, which premiered just last year and appeared on Vince’s very own “Top Ten,” explores how SeaWorld neglects and abuses the animals it’s supposed to protect. It focuses particularly on Tilikum, a killer whale who – whoops-a-daisy! – accidentally eats one of her trainers.

To protest the event, Cowperthwaite will be joined by PETA, who plan to strip naked, cover themselves in black and white body paint, and lie in bathtubs outside the parade. Noble, maybe, insane, obviously. Temperatures tomorrow are expected to hover around freezing: no amount of whale tears is worth the post-nasal drip.

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