Three music groups have pulled out of SeaWorld Entertainment's Orlando Band, Brew & BBQ festival planned to begin February 1. Rock band Barenaked Ladies canceled its appearance because of the Blackfish documentary, which pillories the company for mistreatment of orcas. In short order, country singer Willie Nelson backed out, along with rock band Heart.
The company has also come under criticism from a Huffington Post columnist for cutting hours of 18,000 part-time and seasonal workers in what appears to be an attempt to dodge expenses of Obamacare. It cut hours of these employees from 32 to 28 a week. Beginning in 2015, companies with 50 or more full-time workers must provide coverage. SeaWorld appears to have ducked under the 30-hours-a-week definition of "full-time" for a large number of employees.
The company is reporting strong earnings on revenue that only inches ahead — a result of its raising of prices. The scathing documentary came out on DVD November 12. Since then, the stock has dropped from $31.92 to $29.66 at Friday's closing, during a rising market, although that could be related to a number of factors.