The 15-year-old activist revealed that she has teamed up with SeaWorld for a new initiative called Generation Nature.
“We are so thrilled to finally be joining SeaWorld on a brand new initiative called Generation Nature, which is all about encouraging kids to get involved and be game changers for wildlife and wild places,” Bindi told Robin Roberts.
“Just encouraging kids to become empowered to change the world for themselves.”
But SeaWorld came under fire last year after the controversial documentary Blackfish was released, revealing alleged inhumane treatment of the killer whales in their shows — causing musical acts to cancel their gigs at SeaWorld and online petitions asking the public to boycott the park.
Given her father’s incredible passion for animals and his conservation efforts, the pairing with SeaWorld appears to come as an odd choice.
“I’m so excited to be carrying on in dad’s footsteps and making sure that everything he worked so hard for continues for the generations to come, so that’s why I’m thrilled to be empowering kids,” Bindi excitedly said.
“Because as kids we are the next generation, we’re the next voters, we’re the next decision makers and the next generation to be really changing the world. So I’m thrilled to be partnered up with SeaWorld, thrilled to be part of this new project Generation Nature, and just encouraging kids to change the world for themselves.”
Watch Bindi’s entire appearance below:
The backlash on Twitter was immediate.
“Such a SHAME to see this child pushed toward supporting captivity,” the same user wrote.
WOW Seaworld is trying to show how awesome they r with Bindi Irwin!!! Sorry but they still have whales in captivity!!! Really disappointed!—
Love owls 24 #NFB (@Oldwomanlove24) March 06, 2014
Radar reached out to the Blackfish team for comment, but got no response at the time of publication.
UPDATE 2:00pm PT – PETA reached out to Radar with the following statement: “The Irwin family has been exploiting animals for years, so it comes as no surprise that Bindi has agreed to become SeaWorld’s latest shill. But plastering her face on SeaWorld’s website won’t cover up the fact that orcas, dolphins, and other animals are suffering in SeaWorld’s tiny tanks after being ripped from their families. What millions have realized—through PETA’s massive campaign and the hit documentary Blackfish—is that SeaWorld is no place for anyone who truly cares about animals. Bindi’s talk-show appearances are just a flimsy last-ditch effort by an abusement park hoping to make a buck.”
What do you think of Bindi’s decision to team up with SeaWorld? Sound off in the comments below…