Family of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau backs SeaWorld in light of 'Blackfish'

Brancheau killed by whale in 2010

SAN DIEGO - Relatives of a SeaWorld trainer who died in a killer whale pool are distancing themselves from the controversial movie "Blackfish," a film that critically examines dozens of incidents involving orcas and trainers.

Dawn Brancheau's family says she supported the ethical treatment of animals. They said it was her dream job and they always supported her. Now, they are supporting her co-workers.

SeaWorld has posted some of their own videos online. In them, a clip from the movie is shown, and a woman named Sam Berg -- one of the main characters -- is talking over video of what appears to be her first time riding a killer whale.

Brancheau played another leading role, but she is not around to share her story. The movie details the killer whale Tilikum dragging her to death nearly four years ago at SeaWorld Orlando.

In an online statement, Brancheau's family said, "The film has brought a great deal of attention to the welfare of animals, and for that we are grateful. However, 'Blackfish' is not Dawn's story ... Dawn would not have remained a trainer at SeaWorld for 15 years if she felt that the whales were not well cared for."

As SeaWorld's reputation started to take a hit, the company launched a campaign in response to the move. They posted a video with an interview from current trainer Holly Byrd, who seems to think her role in the film is wildly misleading.

"In the movie, the woman you see swimming with the killer whale, that was me; that wasn't her," said Byrd.

Now, questions about the movie are coming to the surface, including how much of a documentary it really is.

"The one thing I want people to know after watching the movie is that it's not true," Byrd said.

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