January 23. 2014
full story, comments, video:
The Wilson sisters explain why the band backed out of their
Sea World gig.
Ann Wilson: "Seeing Blackfish just really opened our eyes to a lot of really
horrific truths about how Sea World treats their orcas. It really broke my heart
and I just couldn't see signing my name to that. We hate to disappoint people
who go to hear our music, but this was a larger issue.
Before seeing the movie, I always imagined the orcas got to live in a big
extended oceanic area when they weren't performing, but they live in a steel
swimming pool and it basically drives them insane. Not to mention that somebody
died. It's almost Disney-esque in a really tragic way. Again, we just couldn't
go make a bunch of money from them and sign our names and underline it.
It reminds me of back in the 1980s when we'd get these incredible, stupid money
offers to come to South Africa and play Sun City. The people that did that -
like Rod Stewart - slid in there, kept their eyes shut, played their songs and
took the money. Our decision here was a little easier since all the facts were
in the open.
As the documentary pointed out, orca's brains have a whole emotional section
that ours don't even have. It's a whole social/emotional section and it tends to
give them a real unified feeling among themselves. When mothers are separated
from their young, they go insane. The genders stay apart in the wild and they
have a matriarchal society, but Sea World just throws the two genders together.
Nancy and I didn't even originally realize the concert was at Sea World. We
thought it was just somewhere in Orlando. I'm not making an excuse, but we just
weren't paying attention to details. I've never been to Sea World. I've seen the
photos of people getting splashed and it looks fun, but when you look underneath
you see the dark side. What they do is slavery, plain and simple. It's like
people saying, 'Okay, let's go to Africa and bring a bunch of people back here.'
There's never any way to make that okay. Granted, this is a different species,
but it still has a lot of similarities."