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Blackfish plot thickens as SeaWorld OSHA investigator hobnobs with filmakers

Blackfish's credibility is sinking faster than a chunk of orca dung as revelations continue to come out about its misleading scenes, the misrepresentations of some of the people who were interviewed for the film, and now its close association with the lead OSHA investigator in the SeaWorld Orlando case involving trainer Dawn Brancheau's death.

The website MiceChat has led the way in discrediting the movie and its shaky "facts," and its latest article casts doubt on the credibility of the whole investigation into Dawn Brancheau's death. Go to this article, scroll down past all the Wild Days information, and read the very revealing information at the end. Who is that woman hobnobbing with the Blackfish contingent at various premiere events? Why, it's OSHA investigator Lara Padgett herself. She was the lead in the SeaWorld Orlando investigation, and one would hope that she'd take an impartial approach to such a critically important investigation. One might also presume that chumming it up with movie makers who have a very obvious anti-SeaWorld bias doesn't exactly give an impression of impartiality.

OSHA is now telling the media that it's launching an investigation into Padgett's conduct. Meanwhile, associate producer Tim Zimmerman is sticking to claims that Padgett did not provide any documents or information and that the movie only used OSHA material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Given the fact that it's now common knowledge that the filmmakers crafted many misleading scenes, it's hard to tell whether the truthfulness of their claims is real or if it's on a par with the "truthfulness" of Blackfish itself.

For example, when a trainer in the film describes her first time in the water with the orcas, the film shows footage of a trainer with the implication that it's her and that it's showing the experience she's describing. Nope, it's another trainer and has nothing to do with her. The sequence describing a mother whale being separated from her calf shows two whales that are totally unrelated to the allegations and uses dubbed in orca sounds to make viewers think they're witnessing the actual event. Those are just two of many, many misrepresentations that make it easy to understand why the Academy Awards are distancing themselves from the movie after initially shortlisting it.

If you believe the claim that Tilikum is kept all by himself at SeaWorld Orlando in a tiny, confined area, check out the video accompanying this article that shows him splashing the One Ocean audience with his grandson Trua. He's never forced to perform; it's always his choice, so your best chance is to see an early show since he likes to take the afternoons off. One Ocean is on hiatus until spring while Shamu Stadium undergoes renovation, but the big guy will be back to splashing soon.

Those who visit Seaworld Orlando quickly realize that the movie claims are far from the truth of what the park's all about. To see video of the rescue and rehabilitation area, which is open to the public via tours, jump to this article.

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