In the continuing wake of 2013's Blackfish
, former SeaWorld Orlando president Terry Prather is now working with federal investigators probing a potential cover-up of the company's stock ratings, reports Page Six
SeaWorld entered the stock market just several months after the release of Blackfish
. Speaking in 2013, then CEO Jim Atchison maintained the documentary had little effect on the company, saying, "Ironically, our attendance has improved since the movie came out."
However, the following years showed a different trend. Attendance and profit figures fell drastically
in both 2014 and 2015, and shareholders claimed they weren't given the full story, which resulted in a lawsuit against SeaWorld in 2014.
The suit was delayed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which began a federal criminal investigation into the potential cover-up. Prather is expected "to talk so [the DOJ] can go after 'the bigger fish' at SeaWorld," according to the Page Six report.
To this day, SeaWorld objects to the content of Blackfish
, saying on its website
the documentary uses "false and emotionally manipulative sequences."
The controversial documentary revealed treatment of SeaWorld Orlando's orcas, and inspired nationwide outcry over the theme park's treatment of animals.