Joan Jett sends cease and desist to SeaWorld for using her music in Shamu show


Last month, Joan Jett was removed from South Dakota’s float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after a trade group for ranchers took offense to her criticism of their livestock production. Jett handled the whole incident with true gravitas, making the level-headed decision to simply switch floats as to keep the emphasis on entertainment and not “personal agendas”. But a vegetarian rock goddess can only be pushed so far before her socially-conscious claws come out, and Jett has now rallied against another perceived foe of helpless critters everywhere: SeaWorld.

As CNN reports, Jett sent a cease and desist letter to the Orlando park’s CEO Jim Atchison, demanding that her 1975 hit “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” no longer be played during the opening of the “Shamu Rocks” show. The cause of Jett’s sudden Orca-centric outrage? A recent viewing of the documentary Blackfish, which explores the life of SeaWorld’s resident bull orca Tilikum and the dangers of keeping the species in captivity.

Read Jett’s letter in-full below:

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.

Sea World’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

As Rolling Stone points out, Jett’s song is already being phased out of the show. In a press release, park spokesman Nick Gollattscheck wrote, “Ms. Jett’s music is not currently part of any show, although it was played as walk-in music for the ‘Shamu Rocks’ nighttime show at SeaWorld Orlando and was fully licensed for us to use. A new nighttime Shamu show is being designed for SeaWorld Orlando and we had no plans to use any of her music in that show.”

This isn’t the first instance of Blackfish causing trouble for SeaWorld. In recent weeks, Willie Nelson, The Barenaked Ladies, and Heart have all canceled shows at the park, citing at last some influence from the film.

Below, check out footage from the “Shamu Rocks” show in question:


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