It’s a sad state of affairs that young people are so easily influenced that they’ll do whatever a celebrity tells them to, but in this case, it’s actually paid off. Harry Styles has been vocal about his disapproval of SeaWorld, and for good reason: it’s awful. He told fans to boycott the company and its parks, and they’ve actually listened – a problem that’s becoming increasingly dire for SeaWorld and its financial situation. Uh oh!
Investors at CreditSuisse claim the worst is over and it’s all going to be just fine, but I’m not all that sure. Here’s the round-up from Business Insider, anyway:
“We believe two events were the main contributors to the 400% spike in mentions and 13% increase in negative commentary month-over-month,” said Credit Suisse’s note. “Namely, 1) allegations that a SeaWorld employee acted as an undercover member of activist group PETA and 2) One Direction lead singer, Harry Styles, urged all of his fans to boycott SeaWorld during a concert in San Diego.”
The ratio of positive to negative online comments was at -68% in July, down 28 percentage points since the prior month. In fact, according to Credit Suisse, the Styles boycott call has led to the most negative comments for the company over the past three years.
I think this might be my favourite story ever and likely the best thing Harry Styles has done in his entire career. SeaWorld is the worst. I’ve never been and I never will go, and the sooner more people realise what their theme park dollars are actually funding, the better. Watching a whale splash out of the water is not worth what those animals have to go through, so no thanks.
“We recognized that fully resolving our brand challenges in California will require sustained focus and commitment,” SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said in the company’s latest quarterly earnings call. “Let me assure you that we remain steadfast in our efforts to overcome these challenges and to improve the performance of the company.”
Accompanying all of this negative sentiment has been a turn for the worse in the company’s financials. After making a recovery from lows during the Great Recession, when many families chose to forgo vacations and theme parks, SeaWorld has seen a drop in profits and attendance.
You can’t really address something that’s so fundamentally flawed, to be honest. The whole premise of SeaWorld is to take animals from the wild and make them captive, and keep them in captivity for the duration of their lives under horrendous conditions. Even if they invested millions of dollars into making the whales’ enclosures bigger, guess what: you can’t make an enclosure the size of the ocean, which is what the animals are used to and should have, so bye, SeaWorld.