Marineland singer distances herself from park
Suzie McNeil performs on Canada AM in this undated file photo.
Published Friday, August 17, 2012 10:28AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 17, 2012 5:05PM EDT
Contrary to the long-running jingle, it seems not everyone loves Marineland these days. And that includes the ubiquitous song’s singer, Suzie McNeil.
McNeil is distancing herself from the Niagara Falls, Ont. attraction following an expose published in the Toronto Star this week in which former trainers claimed the animals have been broken by neglect and unhealthy conditions.
“I need to get the tag line replaced with ‘all the whales haaaaate... Marineland!’” the singer was widely reported to have written in a tweet Wednesday. By Friday, there was no sign of the message on her Twitter page, though she still expressed disapproval regarding the park’s alleged mistreatment of the animals.
McNeil, a Juno-nominated singer, was drawn into the controversy after a Twitter user brought the news to her attention and expressed shock that she would associate herself with the park.
“Oh man that article is heart breaking & I wasn't aware- I sang the commercial 8 yrs ago!” McNeil responded in another tweet Wednesday morning. She called the situation “heartbreaking” and promised to do what she could to help in a further statement posted on her Facebook page the same day.
“No animal should ever suffer, especially at the hands of human beings,” she wrote.
She said her involvement with Marineland doesn’t go beyond the jingle she was paid to record eight years ago and for which she receives no residual income. And because of the original contract with the park, she said she has no power to stop Marineland from continuing to use the song.
“I plan on investigating this issue further, and doing anything in my power to help these animals,” she said. “Thanks to everyone who brought this to my attention.”
In an email to CTV News earlier this week, Marineland maintained their animals are fed high quality diets and enjoy excellent veterinary care and accommodations.
On Friday, Dr. June Mergl, head of veterinary services at the park, said the accusations of neglect were baseless, adding that infections can develop in animals when machinery in tanks malfunction.
Bill Peters, national director of the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, also denied the allegations, saying the association rigorously inspects such sites.