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Barenaked Ladies' SeaWorld gig is off after viewing 'Blackfish'

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The band says it doesn't feel "comfortable proceeding with the gig"
  • "Blackfish" tells the story of SeaWorld trainer killed in 2010 by an orca named Tilikum
  • "I'm hoping to grab the band's attention on this issue," fan Mike Garrett says in petition

By Alan Duke

Barenaked Ladies have nixed their plans to play at SeaWorld after viewing CNN's "Blackfish" documentary.

"This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time," the band said on a Facebook post late Wednesday night.

"The Seaworld folks have been gracious, and extended us invitations to the park to learn more about what they do, and how they do it."

A park spokesman told CNN that the show has been taken off the theme park's concert schedule.

The decision to cancel the Canadian rock band's performance came two days after drummer Tyler Stewart posted a tweet saying the group is "looking at options" after viewing the documentary.

The documentary -- which aired on CNN last month -- tells the story of the SeaWorld trainer who was killed in 2010 by an orca named Tilikum.

Fans launched an online petition last week asking the group to cancel after the Barenaked Ladies announced it would perform at SeaWorld's Orlando park on February 15, 2014, during its "Bands, Brew & BBQ" events.

Mike Garrett of St. Catharines, Canada, posted the petition on Change.org asking band members to watch "Blackfish" and "learn how SeaWorld and other captive display facilities such as Marineland in Niagara Falls have for decades exploited marine mammals solely for profit."

Garrett said he was "disappointed" when he heard the group was scheduled to play there "in light of all the horrific information we're learning."

"I'm hoping to grab the band's attention on this issue and ask them, on behalf of all their animal-loving fans, to reconsider performing there," Garrett wrote. His petition had gained more than 9,200 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

It worked.

"We here at Barenaked Ladies have made a decision based on what we feel. It's not about money, or petitions, or press... But it is about our fans," the band said Wednesday night. "We listen to them, and they're important to us."

The park's website does not list Barenaked Ladies on the schedule. February 15 and four other weekend dates just say "Coming Soon."

Acts that are listed on the calendar include Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, 38 Special, Justin Moore and Scotty McCreery.
   
 CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.
   
 The-CNN-Wire
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