Jane Velez-Mitchell: CSI star Jorja Fox plays a determined crime scene investigator, who won’t let anything stand in her pursuit of the truth. When she’s off the set, she’s just as determined to free animals from captivity. I talked to Jorja about why she thinks Blackfish is a giant step for all animals in captivity.
[Clip of CSI]
Jane Velez-Mitchell: Jorja Fox, you play Sara Sidle on CSI and you do such a great job of investigating. In this movie, Blackfish, the director describes it as an investigation into what lies below the surface. Do you relate to that?
Jorja Fox: Absolutely, and I’m so very thrilled that this documentary is out there and it’s going to be televised. I think that this is an issue that people are really going to respond to in a powerful, powerful way. And it’s a story whose time has come.
Jane Velez-Mitchell: So when Sea World says “Hey, we’re the leaders in animal husbandry, we’re breeding these orcas in captivity.” is that a good thing or a bad thing in your opinion?
Jorja Fox: It’s a bad thing, in my opinion. And it’s a pointless thing, in my opinion. It’s absolutely pointless. These animals live really long lives, sometimes, if they’re lucky, they live shorter lives. A life in captivity, for a wild marine mammal, is a life of suffering and misery and loneliness. It goes against every innate desire that they have.
[Clip of the movie]
Jorja Fox: A good number of these captive orcas and killer whales were rounded up in a certain time in history. We have watched these pods in the wild for many years. We know where most of these orcas and killer whales, we know where their families are, we know where their pods are —
Jane Velez-Mitchell: So you endorse what Russell Simmons suggested? Change it radically, eliminate the performance of the orcas or shut down?
Jorja Fox: I think the future that we’re looking at, if these animals can’t be released into the wild, then we can do much better by them. I’m talking about sanctuaries, I’m talking about ecological preserves, marine preserves, where these animals can live out their lives in somewhat more of a normal way. My first and foremost idea would be lets release as many of these animals as we can into the wild, and lets take the risk and see what happens.