ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld Entertainment said Tuesday that it would pay $65 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged it misled investors about the effect the 2013 film Blackfish had on its business.

  • SeaWorld reaches settlement in class-action lawsuit over "Blackfish" statements
  • The Orlando-based company has agreed to pay $65 million 
  • The lawsuit alleged SeaWorld's former executives misled investors

The settlement agreement was announced in a SEC filing released Tuesday.

The 2014 lawsuit filed by shareholders accused SeaWorld executives of making false or misleading statements about the film's impact on theme park attendance.

Attendance at SeaWorld's parks fell sharply following the film's release although the company refused to acknowledge it, the lawsuit said.

In the filing, SeaWorld said the settlement "does not include or constitute an admission, concession, or finding of any fault, liability, or wrongdoing by the Company or any defendant."

The settlement agreements have yet to be approved by the court.

SeaWorld and its former CEO James Atchison agreed to pay more than $5 million in 2018 to settle fraud charges related to statements made about the impact of Blackfish.

Blackfish criticized SeaWorld's treatment of orcas in captivity, sparking outrage from animal-rights activists. In the years since, SeaWorld has changed its strategy to focus on attractions and conservations and less on animal entertainment.

Just last week, the company said it would end the practice of trainers riding on dolphins in its shows.

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