'Blackfish' controversy prompts Beach Boys, Benatar to cancel shows

Tillikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld amusement park, performs during the show

Tillikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld amusement park, performs during the show "Believe" in Orlando in this September 3, 2009 file photo. The "Blackfish" documentary was originally conceived without a point of view as Gabriela Cowperthwaite set out to answer the question of why a top trainer at SeaWorld became the victim of killer whale, Tillikum, with which she worked and performed. The resulting film, however, turned out to be a critical look at the consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger/Files)

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, Last Updated: 6:08 PM ET

The celebrity backlash over CNN documentary Blackfish has prompted the Beach Boys and Pat Benatar to pull out of shows at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

The controversial film, which examines working practices and killer whale treatment at Orlando's SeaWorld themepark, has already led to a series of concert cancellations by the likes of Cheap Trick, Willie Nelson and Barenaked Ladies at the venue, and now another venue owned by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is facing a boycott.

A Busch Gardens spokesman has confirmed the Beach Boys and Benatar have scrapped their appearances at the upcoming Bands, Brews & BBQ event in Tampa, stating, "We respect their decision (but) we're disappointed that there is a media controversy enacted by animal activists and based on misinformation."

In a statement to CNN, Benatar reveals she cancelled her February 22 show once she learned that Busch Gardens was affiliated with SeaWorld.

And the Beach Boys have also issued a statement, which reads: "The Beach Boys have cancelled their performance on February 15, 2014. The band regrets any inconvenience this may have caused their fans and they look forward to returning to Tampa soon."

Heart, Trace Adkins, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride have also scrapped 2014 dates at SeaWorld due to the fall-out following the release of Blackfish.

When Nelson scrapped his concert in December, he said, "I don't agree with the way they treat their animals."


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