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Lawyer uses SeaWorld OSHA investigator's actions as example of how not to act

It's business as usual at SeaWorld, despite Blackfish's smear efforts.
It's business as usual at SeaWorld, despite Blackfish's smear efforts.
Barb Nefer

As information continues to come out on OSHA investigator Lara Padgett's cozy ties to the Blackfish production team, attorney Howard A. Mavity of the Fisher & Phillips law firm has used the fiasco as the basis for an article on how to conduct yourself in public if you don't want to potentially embarrass your employer or company.

The article, "Think About How It Will Look!", examines how Padgett's actions have created a public relations nightmare for OSHA, since she was the lead investigator in the SeaWorld Orlando case. Although that presumably means she should have a neutral stance, an avalanche of evidence shows that she's extremely close to the Blackfish production team. You can even see her getting a shout-out from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite at the Sundance premiere. You can view the video by jumping to this article, where you'll also see the camera pan over Padgett in the audience as she gets her kudos.

In his article, Mavity points out that Padgett could have been encourage to get close to the Blackfish makers in order to get more information to help the OSHA investigation. However, he explains that allegedly sharing a rental house with the film makers and romping around in a Blackfish t-shirt puts her neutrality and purpose into serious question.

In the wake of all the revelations about how the movie plays fast and loose with the facts, started in motion by the MiceChat website, it seems entirely possible that Padgett could have contributed information. However, that's something that Cowperthwaite steadfastly denies, despite the numerous photos that have surfaced of the two hobnobbing at premieres and the very blatant shout-out caught on video at Sundance.

OSHA has already confirmed that it's investigating Padgett's actions. Meanwhile, her conduct is going down in the annals as a perfect example of how not to comport yourself in public if you don't want to create a scandal (or, in the case of Blackfish, add to a scandal that already has a life of its own, as you can read in this article). Even Dawn Brancheau's family made certain to distance themselves as far from it as possible. You can read their statement in this article.

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