Animal rights group PETA is calling on Gordon Ramsay to cut all ties with SeaWorld following Wednesday night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen,” which featured a trip to the embattled theme park for the winning team.
In a letter addressed to the television chef, PETA’s executive vice president Tracy Reiman cites the documentary “Blackfish” and asks that his Fox show never partner with SeaWorld ever again.
“The pressure of a commercial kitchen has nothing on the constant stress and deprivation that orcas endure in SeaWorld’s barren concrete tanks,” wrote Reiman.
The animal rights group has yet to get a response from the celebrity chef to the letter, but is confident that it will, Reiman told TheWrap. “PETA hasn’t heard back yet from Gordon Ramsay or the “Hell’s Kitchen” team, but we’re certain that once they realize how SeaWorld’s reputation has tanked — with more people than ever speaking out against locking far-ranging marine mammals in barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub — they’ll nix any and all future SeaWorld promotions.
“Ramsay doesn’t tolerate failure in a kitchen, so why would he tolerate it in a business partner?” she asked.
As TheWrap previously reported, SeaWorld’s profits have seen a steady decline since “Blackfish” was released in theaters in 2013 and sparked unwanted media attention about the treatment of the park’s animals.
“Now that the public knows SeaWorld’s shameful secrets — such as the 44 orcas and dozens of other dolphins who have died at SeaWorld parks from causes such as severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, and chronic cardiovascular failure–no kind person or reasonable business wants anything to do with this park,” Reiman said.
Reiman also explained to Ramsay that fast-food chain Taco Bell recently decided to distance themselves from the SeaWorld brand.
“Do you want a fast-food eatery to be more avant-garde than the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ team?” Reiman wrote. “Please, for ‘Hell’s Kitchen’s’ sake — and the sake of the animals who suffer every day at SeaWorld — don’t tie yourself to SeaWorld’s sinking ship.”
Representatives from Fox did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Read Tracy Reiman letter in its entirety below.
November 6, 2014
Dear Mr. Ramsay,
I am writing today on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters regarding last night’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen, in which a winning team received a trip to SeaWorld San Diego. With all due respect, partnering with a public-relations disaster such as SeaWorld is a losing proposition. Please consider the following information about SeaWorld’s tanking reputation and make the kind–and business-savvy–decision never to partner with this notorious theme park again.
The pressure of a commercial kitchen has nothing on the constant stress and deprivation that orcas endure in SeaWorld’s barren concrete tanks–and ever since the 2013 documentaryBlackfish exposed how the animals at SeaWorld are denied everything that is natural and important to them, SeaWorld has felt the heat. In a recent earnings call, during which SeaWorld announced that it had missed estimates on both the top and bottom lines, the company’s CEO openly admitted for the first time that Blackfish and its subsequent “media attention” have negatively affected park attendance, its popularity, and public opinion. The following day, SeaWorld’s shares hit an all-time low, and its credit rating was downgraded to junk status.
Now that the public knows SeaWorld’s shameful secrets–such as the 44 orcas and dozens of other dolphins who have died at SeaWorld parks from causes such as severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, and chronic cardiovascular failure–no kind person or reasonable business wants anything to do with this park. STA Travel, Southwest Airlines (which was a partner of SeaWorld’s for more than a quarter century), and Virgin America have severed ties with the park. The Los Angeles Times and other publications have condemned it, and nearly a dozen musicians pulled out of gigs at the park this past summer. Even Taco Bell has distanced itself from the park. Do you want a fast-food eatery to be more avant-garde than the Hell’s Kitchen team?
Please, for Hell’s Kitchen’s sake–and the sake of the animals who suffer every day at SeaWorld–don’t tie yourself to SeaWorld’s sinking ship. May I please hear from you that you will decline the next time that SeaWorld asks you for some free publicity?
Thank you very much for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Vice President