Tommy Lee Calls Upon House of Blues President to Use New SeaWorld Board Seat to Build Orca Sanctuaries
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee has expressed his distaste for SeaWorld's practices in the past, but he's hoping that the addition of House of Blues Entertainment president Ron Bension might lead to a positive change.
In an open letter, Lee admitted he was surprised that Bension had joined the SeaWorld board and reminded him that many of the artists that have frequented his venues have openly protested SeaWorld's practices. But he also took the opportunity to appeal to Bension to help save the orcas by urging SeaWorld to build sanctuaries for the animals. Lee's letter can be read below.
I was surprised when my friends at PETA told me that you've recently joined SeaWorld's board. Because you're the president of House of Blues, I'm sure you know that many acts -- including Cheap Trick, 38 Special, REO Speedwagon, Barenaked Ladies and Willie Nelson -- have canceled performances at SeaWorld, and artists such as Joan Jett, Savage Garden and me have called on the company to stop bombarding the sound-sensitive animals it confines with loud music."
I'm glad that SeaWorld has stopped jacking off orcas since my appeal, which came before the release of Blackfish. But for the 29 orcas and countless other animals who are still being kept in tiny tanks, it's the same ol' situation. Since SeaWorld's announcement, protests have continued, it's stock has hit an all-time low, and visitors are not coming back.
Please, save the orcas and your reputation by urging SeaWorld to build sanctuaries where these animals could feel ocean currents, hear wild pods, and still be cared for as long as they need. SeaWorld should follow the lead of the National Aquarium, which has committed to moving all eight dolphins at its facility -- including 17-year-old Jade, who was born at SeaWorld Orlando -- to a coastal sanctuary.
Lee first took issue with SeaWorld in 2012, drafting a letter with PETA asking that they stop using Motley Crue songs during their killer whale show called Shamu Rocks. Lee said that he wanted no part of the "sad" production, that included usage of his band's discography.
In 2014, during Motley Crue's "Final Tour," Lee engaged fans at their San Diego stop with a social media scavenger hunt focusing on venues near the SeaWorld location. Lee encouraged fans to uncover a t-shirt that read "SeaWorld Kills," with the winner getting backstage passes to meet the drummer in return for tweeting a photo of themselves wearing the shirt. Lee has been a longtime supporter of PETA and animal rights.
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