Jim Atchison recently resigned as CEO of SeaWorld, though not for the reasons you may expect. Below is his resignation letter outlining the truth behind his stepping down.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
To Whom it May Concern:
Effective immediately, I am stepping down from my position of Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld. Since the release of the documentary film Blackfish — a documentary suggesting a whale killed a trainer because it was driven to psychosis by extreme maltreatment — profits have been abysmal, attendance is lower than ever before, and more and more people believe that everything we stand for is cruel and exploitative of intelligent, sensitive animals.
However, that’s not why I’m stepping down. No one here gives a hoot about any of that. No, I’m resigning because I ate one of the whales.
I always wanted to know what whales tasted like; I would salivate as I watched them swim around in the water like huge rubber cows. Then when I found out that Tilikum (one of the male orcas) was a true killer, I figured, “it sounds like he deserves to be eaten, and I’m the one to do it.“
So one night, I snuck into the whale pen, picked out the whale I thought was Tilikum (it was dark, who knows for sure), pulled him out of the water, roasted him on a 40-foot spit, and ate him. I ate the whole thing: head, tail, vagina (I now think it wasn’t Tilikum), eyes, everything.
It tasted pretty good, too, kind of fishy — like a steak that fell in the ocean and was treated like a cheap mattress by a couple of horny fish. Went through a whole tree’s worth of lemons. I was so full from eating six tons of blubber and meat I fell asleep next to the skeletal remains. Security caught me in the morning.
Needless to say, the top brass at SeaWorld were pretty upset I ate one of the whales. “This crosses the line,” they said. “Keeping whales in glorified fish tanks, forcing them to do tricks for children, refusing to do anything about a whale who intentionally drowns humans because we value his sperm, allowing the whales to grate each other’s skin until it scars and bleeds — that’s all fine. But this, this is despicable.”
I admit it — they are right. Everything we do is wrong, but killing and eating a whale is a bit too wrong. That is why I am resigning as CEO. Though I will receive a $2.4 million dollar payout for resigning, and will now become vice chairman of the board at SeaWorld, I promise I will not feel too good about it.
I also swear I will never eat another whale — unless of course, it becomes the only way we can sell tickets. Then, if it comes to that, I’ll toss on my bib, grab my pitchfork and machete, and I’ll give you one hell of a show — the kind of show you can only find at SeaWorld.
Vice Chairman, SeaWorld