Business and News from The Golden State
By DONNA BALANCIA — SAN DIEGO — California assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) is making the rounds promoting a bill proposed Friday that would ban the use of killers whales in entertainment.
The bill focuses on eliminating transportation, captive breeding and use of orcas for entertainment.
“SeaWorld is important to the San Diego economy,” Bloom told MSNBC Tuesday morning. “The research they fund is important, but I believe this bill would not affect the bottom line at all. Corporations and businesses shift their models all the time.”
A report released by its largest shareholder, Blackstone Group, indicated SeaWorld’s attendance dropped 13 percent in the first quarter of 2014, attributed mainly to Easter falling in Q2.
In a statement, SeaWorld Entertainment responded that Bloom is teaming with groups like PETA on this bill as a “publicity stunt.”
SeaWorld employs more than 4,000 people and attracts more than 4 million visitors a year to San Diego, according to tourism and visitation numbers.
Bloom said he wrote the proposed legislation after watching the film “Blackfish,” which details the possible consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity. The film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite debuted at Sundance 2013.
In 2010, trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed at the hands of Tilikum, a killer whale she worked with at SeaWorld Orlando.
END STORY SEAWORLD CALLS BLOOM’S BILL PUBLICITY STUNT