Brie Larson is sorry for posting throwback photo of captive dolphins

Brie Larson shared the above photo to Instagram and Twitter Friday with the hashtag #fbf which means “Flashback Friday.” She’s touching a dolphin’s stomach and the caption indicates that the photo was taken in 2004. Then the comments started pouring in, as they do on social media. Other sites are reporting that people were condemning her for posting a photo of captive dolphins, but most of the comments which I have found were more about urging her to learn more about the plight of dolphins in captivity, and the cruel way in which they’re captured. Here are some of the negative comments.

Dont support dolphins in captivity please, it’s just like #Roomthemovie but for dolphins. You better than that guuuuurl

Poor dolphin slaves! Please don’t support animal cruelty!

sad to see you support animals in captivity @brielarson

Brie I know you care about people already and try to stay informed about the issues they face, but can you also learn more about the exploitation of animals? Cause I don’t think you’d support it if you knew

No! Please learn about the #Tiji slaughter @dolphin_project and never buy a ticket to a dolphin show. These animals deserve better and you can help.

Please don’t support animal cruelty!

I totally get how Dolphins are amazing but NEVER in captivity please…

[From Instagram via NY Daily News and The Celebrity Talk]

After that Brie posted an apology message to Instagram which started with a sentiment similar to “you don’t know me” but it ended strong and she said that she’s concerned about the plight of animals and wants to learn more. I don’t know how I feel about the giant close up photo of her face, but she’s trying to learn.

Yo – it's me again. I posted a photo previously that encapsulated a silly moment in my weird life. I forgot that through social media and random interviews you do not know all the facets of me and what my concerns are. We should be concerned about the well being of all animals. Yes, Dolphins. Along with every other creature. There are problems with animals in captivity. There are problems with animals living in the wild. It has always been a priority of mine to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. I apologize if the photo appeared to endorse animal cruelty. I don't believe any living thing deserves miss treatment. In the comments section feel free to discuss your thoughts, concerns, articles ANYTHING that can turn this into a moment of education for myself all who are interested. We gotta remember that we will make mistakes but we can learn from them, together. Much love.

A photo posted by Brie (@brielarson) on

Brie also retweeted a message about the rake marks on that dolphin’s stomach and said she wanted to learn more about it. Apparently this is caused whenteeth of dominant whales and dolphins scrape the skin of the less aggressive animals. These attacks can result in painful and serious injuries.” This happens in captivity because dolphins and other sea animals get stressed out in such small enclosures and fight each other for dominance.

Personally I have not yet seen The Cove, a 2009 documentary about the cruel practice of dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan. Many dolphins are slaughtered for their meat but the real money is in selling the dolphins into captivity, where they are worth up to $100,000 each. I haven’t seen The Cove because just reading about how these dolphins are herded and slaughtered hurts my heart. I have seen Blackfish though, about the plight of captive orcas in Sea World, and how Sea World officials covered up how dangerous it is for both the animals and trainers. As a result I will never go to a Sea World again. (I’ve only been as a child.)

That brings us back to Brie. Our future Captain Marvel is 26, meaning she was just 15 when this photo was taken. She seems to have learned about what captive dolphins go through and to be open to learning more, and isn’t that what we want our celebrities to do? She did sound a little snotty at the beginning of that message, but with all the nasty comments she was receiving I get it. It’s got to be overwhelming at times for celebrities on social media. Daisy Ridley noped out of Instagram recently when she tried to write about gun violence and got crap for it. Brie is sticking around and trying to understand. I know I learned some things about captive dolphins today too.

Japanese premiere of 'Room'

photos credit: WENN, Getty and Instagram

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23 Responses to “Brie Larson is sorry for posting throwback photo of captive dolphins”

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  1. QueenB says:

    lol that selfie is killing me.

  2. jeanpierre says:

    Good thing the awareness about captivity is rising.

  3. Snarkweek says:

    I’ve been wondering about this. On a trip to the Bahamas we did a dolphin shore excursion and fed them, played with them etc. We were told during the training session that those particular dolphins were Katrina victims and that the bay and enclosure had been specially designed for them. One of the dolphins was named Brewer and he had an internet presence because of the Katrina coverage. We were told that the dolphins would not survive in the open sea and that attempts to rehome them in the ocean were unsuccessful as they always returned. I think in my heart I wanted to believe it but now I wonder. I despise places like Sea World etc but was this situation better? Hopefully someone who knows more about this than I do will chime in.

    • Merritt says:

      Animals that are believed to be candidates for release, are released. That includes dolphins . The decision is up the the federal agency, not marine facilities or zoos.And even if an animal is determined to not be candidate for release, it will not necessarily stay at the facility that rescued it. Again that is a government decision.

    • Snarkweek says:

      Thank you. The facility says they were chosen for the rehoming because of its handling report card and its bays (1 natural cove and 2 manmade). They also said they let each dolphin decide whether or not it works that day or whether it will just play and sleep in addition to letting each dolphin train/work with whatever handler it prefers that day. It sounded so good I felt guilty for finding reasons to believe them. Does this all check out with what you know? Thanks in advance.

      • Merritt says:

        That sounds accurate. That is pretty standard for most facilities in North America and Western Europe.

  4. AlleyCat says:

    Completely off topic but I just cannot believe she’s younger than me. She looks about ten years older than her age, even in that dolphin picture.

    I don’t know much about this either, but I’d like to. I guess I should go check out some documentaries.

  5. Merritt says:

    I would personally avoid “The Cove” the guy who made the movie, was previously convicted of dolphin abuse. The movie also lies. No dolphins from Taiji have been sold to American marine parks or aquariums in nearly 30 years. The last one being Kina in 1987, who lives at a facility in Hawaii. But since people fail to do research, they scream that every dolphin in the US is from Taiji, when that is not true. And FYI “Blackfish” was also full of lies and half-truths, but since people don’t bother to research beyond a crappy movie, they believed everything it said.

    • LaraG says:

      Merritt, do you work for sea world? Cuz it sounds like you might..

      • Merritt says:

        That would be difficult to do from the Midwest. Telling the truth and expecting it from others, seems to get a lot of accusations when it comes to this topic. Look it up RIc O’Barry was convicted in the late 1990s. His actions led the the death of a dolphin.

      • Celebitchy says:

        I can confirm that Merritt has been around for a while. We get a lot of paid shills lately so I checked.

    • Hadleyb says:

      What lies about Black Fish? … the truth is that Sea World breeds animals to showcase their shows — is that a lie ?

      So the whale wasn’t taken from his mother at a young age and basically put through the ringer going from park to park? He doesn’t have aggression due to his upbringing?

      The fins don’t sag when they are in captivity?

      The main point is no wild animals should be on stage for our benefit or amusement. The only reason would be some sanctuary if they are unable to live in the wild. And I don’t believe they need to do “tricks” or us for even then.

  6. alice says:

    me thinks Brie is overdoing the social media stuff and trying too hard to come out as cool and please everybody. Nope. Can’t have everything.

  7. Realitycheck says:

    The whole point of blackfish was to show that these animals don’t belong in captivity. That is not a lie. They are intelligent beings who need a mass amount of ocean to swim in to fulfill their natural urges. These animals do not need to be locked up for our entertainment.
    If you want to learn about these creatures go see them in their natural habitat.

    Please stop getting so political about this. Sea world and other institutions that keep ocean creates captive is wrong.

    • Merritt says:

      And if you want to take care of these animals, then you support efforts to save their natural habitat. Their natural habitat is becoming more and more unlivable by the day. Several populations have food shortages.

      • Vivi says:

        You seem very knowledgable which is why i think you probably know that the US government has terminated breading programs such as sea world because they serve no purpose and it is understood that these animals need the wide ocean.
        On top of that, a good friend of mine actually had a lot of experience with whale research and is in the process of looking for a doctorate position atm.
        When i asked her about Blackfish she confirmed a lot of the things that were said and will herself never step in such a place as sea world.
        As for the creator of The Cove i think he actually talks about his past in the beginning of the movie. That doesn’t mean that now he isn’t looking to save the animals…

      • Merritt says:


        1. The US government has not banned breeding. SeaWorld decided on their own to end their orca breeding program. Also Europe doesn’t allow breeding bans for captive killer whale or dolphin populations because of the social and sexual nature of the animals it is considered cruel.

        2. Since I don’t know your friend and cannot confirm what her education is, I’m not sure how that is relevant.

        3. If O’Barry was truly interested in helping animals, then he would not lie about Taiji. It was established by Cousteau decades ago that the dolphin slaughter in Taiji had been going on for centuries and has nothing to do with marine parks. If it was about selling the dolphins, then they would not be killing them. The drive hunts are primarily done to kill. Marine facilities do not have the magical ability to resurrect a dead dolphin.

      • Vivi says:

        Nope – they were banned by law from breeding in 2015 and only came out with the headline that they would stop a few months after they were banned anyway. so it wasn’t really their idea…it’s just good PR.

  8. lizzie says:

    i don’t agree with having aquatic life in captivity but i would like to know what all these dolphin crusaders on instagram are doing to improve the world other than criticizing and concern trolling everyone.

    guess sorry for going to seaworld when i was 4? give me a break.

  9. Rocío says:

    When I was 12 , my parents took me to Sea World. At time I loved it but I grew older and I learnt about animal cruelty. Now I hate Sea World and similar parks. So no hate to Brie. I have a similar picture and I’m not going to throw it away. My kids are not going to SW.

  10. Adele Dazeem says:

    I am a rabid animal lover and can’t stand the idea of zoos, sea worlds, etc….

    That being said…

    I think if I were a celebrity I’d melt from the pressures. To be thin, attractive, young, compete w other actors, have a love life and yet not Swift it, have a presence on social media and yet be charming and non-offensive….that would be hard. Seriously.

    Ramble over.