SeaWorld Fined $5 Million For Fraud Charges Related To Documentary Film ‘Blackfish’

By  //  September 18, 2018

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'Blackfish' aired in 2013

SeaWorld Entertainment and one of the company’s former CEOs have agreed to pay a $5 million fine to settle fraud charges for misleading investors about the impact the documentary film “Blackfish” was having on the business. (SeaWorld Image)

(FOX BUSINESS) – SeaWorld Entertainment and one of the company’s former CEOs have agreed to pay a $5 million fine to settle fraud charges for misleading investors about the impact the documentary film “Blackfish” was having on the business.

The fine was announced Tuesday after the SEC filed a complaint in federal court in New York, charging SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison with violating antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

The complaint alleged that from approximately December 2013 through August 2014, SeaWorld and Atchison made untrue and misleading statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls, and other statements to the press regarding the documentary’s impact on the company’s reputation and business.

SeaWorld’s former vice president of communications also agreed to settle a fraud charge for his role in misleading investors.

In 2013, “Blackfish” documented and criticized SeaWorld’s treatment of its orcas (killer whales) and received significant media attention after the film’s debut.

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