Killer whales are a hot entertainment commodity. Just ask SeaWorld and its parent company, The Blackstone Group, who not only reap hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits (and paid zero income tax in 2011) from their shiny Shamu-based business model, but stand to raise even more mountains of cash with an imminent IPO.
But now the darker side of keeping killer whales in captivity is gaining a foothold in the American conversation, fueled in part by a spate of films and books on the subject that seem to be approaching something close to critical mass. Indeed, as The Hollywood Reporter recently put it, “Orcas in Captivity Are Having a Hollywood Moment.”
This holiday season, and into the New Year, as you parcel out your entertainment dollars for yourself or as gifts, there are many ways you can have a good time—and learn about killer whales, and why they are better off in their ocean home than a concrete tank full of artificial seawater.
Here are some suggestions. Grab some popcorn and (trust me) a hanky, and settle in.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images