Entertainment

Barenaked Ladies' SeaWorld concert cancelled after fan outcry

The Barenaked Ladies have cancelled a planned concert at SeaWorld in Orlando, after fans raised concerns about the treatment of the animals at the water park.

Thousands of fans sign petition asking band to reconsider performing at water park

Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies responded to their fans' displeasure at an announced concert to take place at Orlando's SeaWorld, in the wake of a documentary about alleged mistreatment of animals at the park. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The Barenaked Ladies have cancelled a planned concert at SeaWorld in Orlando, after fans raised concerns about the treatment of the animals at the water park.

An unofficial BNL fans' account on Twitter announced on Monday that the band would be playing in Orlando in February. Several fans responded unfavourably, including one user who urged the band to watch the documentary Blackfish. The film focuses on the treatment of animals at SeaWorld, specifically a whale named Tilikum who was involved in the deaths of three people.

"Poor decision. Motivated by money," tweeted a fan with the username Ian Padley. "Watch @blackfishmovie, then cancel the show. Please."

Mike Garrett of St. Catharines, Ont., started a petition on Change.org to drum up fan support. "In light of all the horrific information we're learning about places like SeaWorld and Marineland," the petition asked the band "to reconsider performing there." As of Thursday, it had accumulated more than 11,000 signatures.

Investigations earlier this year reported several allegations of animal mistreatment at Marineland, the Ontario water park similar to Orlando's SeaWorld.

The Ladies' drummer Tyler Stewart replied on Twitter, saying, "Like you, we've seen the movie and were affected. We 're currently looking at options on how to proceed."

The band then said that it has chosen not to perform at SeaWorld on the previously announced date in a diplomatically worded post on its Facebook page.

"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 band wrote.

"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."

The post has generated more than 6,000 Likes, 1,200 comments and 1,100 shares on the social network so far, with many commenters supporting the Ladies' decision.


 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.