UPDATE: SeaWorld has extended an invitation to Harry Styles to visit one of their theme parks, saying, "We are happy to open our doors, take you behind the scenes, and have our trainers and vets answer any question you have."
Harry Styles is a lot more than just a ladies' man—he's a dude for dolphins, too!
That's right, the One Direction boy-bander has a soft spot for porpoises and marine mammals—particularly those he feels are wrongfully placed in captivity.
Last night at 1D's San Diego show, the 21-year-old singer used his platform to speak directly to local fans. "Does anybody here like dolphins?" Harry asks the crowd after spotting Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, who just so happens to be an ambassador for Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project. The audience roars with applause (because who doesn't like dolphins?!), to which Harry replies, "Don't go to SeaWorld!"
This comment made quite a splash on social media, and pretty soon PETA was praising Mr. Styles. A representative for the animal rights organization said they were "pleased as punch" Harry spoke out, telling E! News exclusively they're sending him a "SeaWorld Kills" T-Shirt and box of dolphin-shaped vegan chocolates to show their appreciation.
"It's no surprise that Harry Styles knows what young people care about—they love animals, and they hate businesses that hurt them, like SeaWorld's orca prisons do," said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. "PETA hopes that One Direction's devoted fans will join the thousands of people around the world who are calling on SeaWorld to retire the orcas to coastal sanctuaries."
This isn't the first time Harry's advocated on behalf of the dolphins, though—he's teamed up with Ric and Lincoln O'Barry of the Dolphin Project on multiple occasions and is passionate about raising awareness for the plight faced by these magnificent marine mammals.
"The issue of keeping dolphins in captivity has gone mainstream," Ric, Dolphin Project founder/director, said in a statement. "Family Guy, South Park, Harry Styles and Maisie Williams and countless other celebrities have become vocal calling for the end of dolphin abusement parks."
There's no shortage of backlash against these types of places, that's for sure. SeaWorld, particularly, has experienced its fair share of fallout since the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish. The theme park refutes the film's claims that its animals are in any way mistreated, and there''s an entire section of their SeaWorldCares.com site to "Truth About Blackfish". SeaWorld maintains their organization benefits education, conservation and research.
(Originally posted July 10, 2015 at 1:22 p.m. PT)