Published Dec 11, 2013Joan Jett is the latest in a series of musicians to object to the practices of SeaWorld, with the Blackhearts leader having recently sent a cease and desist letter to the marine theme park over their use of her "I Love Rock 'n Roll" in the "Shamu Rocks" show.
CNN reports that Jett's signature tune had been played during the intro of the orca performance routine, which she had found out in a YouTube video. A letter was then penned and sent to SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison, with Jett lambasting the company for playing the track both without her permission and towards the "sound-sensitive" mammals. The animal rights activist also weighed in with her concerns over captivity issues.
Her letter reads:
I was surprised and upset to see on YouTube that SeaWorld used "I Love Rock 'n Roll" as the opening music for its cruel and abusive "Shamu Rocks" show. I'm among the millions who saw Blackfish and am sickened that my music was blasted without my permission at sound-sensitive marine mammals. These intelligent and feeling creatures communicate by sonar and are driven crazy in the tiny tanks in which they are confined. If I don't receive written confirmation that SeaWorld will cease and desist from using any Joan Jett & the Blackhearts music, I will be forced to take further action, and you'll find me among the PETA protesters outside your parks.
SeaWorld's reliance on cruelty and captivity for commerce has been widely exposed. I hope you'll take the respectable path and release the captive orcas to coastal sanctuaries so that they can live out their lives with other orcas in nature. This move would show that your company is truly family-friendly.
The cease and desist comes in the wake of Blackfish, the 2013 Gabriela Cowperthwaite-directed documentary that shines a damning light on SeaWorld and the dangers of keeping orcas in captivity. The popular film has led to quite the fallout recently, with artists like Heart, Willie Nelson and the Barenaked Ladies having pulled out of previously scheduled performances at the theme park. Tommy Lee had also asked SeaWorld to pull Mötley Crüe songs from the "Shamu Rocks" show in 2012.
Last month, Jett was involved in another animal rights squabble in which the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association asked the rocker to be removed from the state's float in New York's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade because of her vegetarianism.
"When we learned that about Miss Jett, we were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota and a state that is so heavily reliant on agriculture and livestock production to drive our economy," the association's Jodie Anderson had said.
Jett was moved to another float.