SeaWorld Releases Video of Racist, Drunken 'Blackfish' Critic

By Brent McCluskey 04/10/15

SeaWorld decried whistleblower John Hargrove's "reprehensible" behavior. Hargrove said the video was a "childish" attempt to defame him.

John Hargrove
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In a desperate move, SeaWorld has recently released a five-year-old video of former orca trainer and Blackfish star John Hargrove, who is seen drunkenly shouting racial slurs during a phone call.

The video shows Hargrove sitting at a table with two empty wine bottles and a nearly empty wine glass. He is seen on the phone, using derogatory words while trying to persuade the woman on the other end to recount a story of where several black men threw rocks at her. SeaWorld reps reproached Hargrove’s conduct, but Hargrove said the company was only launching personal attacks.

“The video is particularly reprehensible since John Hargrove is wearing a SeaWorld shirt,” said SeaWorld representative Fred Jacobs. “SeaWorld would have terminated Hargrove’s employment immediately had we known he engaged in this kind of behavior.”

But Hargrove said the release of the video, which was supplied by an “internal whistleblower,” was just an example of SeaWorld trying to defame him.

“These are all just personal attacks to try to slander me and my character,” Hargrove said. “This is so typical SeaWorld. If they’re going to pull up videos and say he was drunk one night and used a derogatory word ... these are petty, childish attempts to discredit somebody.”

Hargrove was featured in the 2013 documentary Blackfish and recently published his book Beneath the Surface, which chronicles his more than two decades of experience working with orcas.

Hargrove said he has not seen the video and does not recall the event. “We do a lot of things we shouldn’t do when we drink,” he said.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.