Is there no end to the absurdity of Hollywood?

In the last few months, I’ve written opinion pieces focusing on the missteps (and outright deception) of certain Hollywood stars. I’m not an entertainment writer. Yet, here I am, writing about Hollywood figures that fashion themselves as policy experts.

It’s too bad. Because while they might mean well, these (usually poorly educated) entertainers often give credibility to myths, conspiracy theories, or outright lies. And they’re frequently used as pawns by activists—be it race, environmental, animal, and even food, to push an agenda even they might not support if they had the full details or really understood the issue more fully.

Take Harry Styles’ (or any over 30 readers out there, he’s a singer in boy-band One Direction) recent comments on the SeaWorld. During a recent concert in San Diego, Styles asked the crowd, "does anybody like dolphins?" adding, “don't go to SeaWorld."

Naturally, Styles didn’t offer any reason for saying this nor did he offer up any facts.

I have three young kids (who mercifully haven’t yet discovered mediocre boy band or girl band music) and we’re considering our first family trip to Orlando this fall. Of course, SeaWorld is on the list of things to do, along with a trip to Disney (our first as a family), Universal Studios and possibly NASA.

So, in preparing for our trip, I visited the SeaWorld looking for information on when and where the exhibits where held. What was truly surprising was at all the information on what the company does to help marine animals. I know a lot of people will say “but….but….Blackfish!” 

Sure, I’ve seen the movie Blackfish and there’s no doubt it was a disturbing documentary. But I also know that, similar to many other activist-driven (and financed) films (see Josh Fox’s Gasland as a good example), it’s filled with distortions provided by disgruntled former employees. It’s too bad there hasn’t been more (or really any) coverage of how those who actually appeared in the film declared they felt deceived by the filmmakers.

But Harry Styles got what he wanted. He screeched about animal rights at a concert, which made his teenage fans swoon and he got the attention of PETA—the human-hating organization that has turned advocating for the humane treatment of animals into a circus sideshow. PETA’s recent calls for the death of the dentist that shot Cecil the Lion reveals just how frighteningly radical they really are.

So, since the media’s not covering it, I encourage readers to do their own research into SeaWorld and learn a bit about what they do for the creatures Harry “marine biologist wannabe but never will be” Styles cares so much about.

Here are some helpful links:

To read about some of the actual 26,000 animal rescues SeaWorld has done, go here.

To read about SeaWorld’s new Killer Whale program and it’s partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, go here.

To read a more balanced article about the flaws in the documentary Blackfish, read this article by Jeff Stier.

To read another article about the distortions in Blackfish, go here.