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SeaWorld lashes out at former trainer by releasing video with racial slurs

John Hargrove accuses SeaWorld of mistreating killer whales in 'Beneath the Surface'


ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld is going on the attack by releasing a video on Tuesday showing one of their most outspoken critics using racial slurs.

Former SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove last week published a new book, "Beneath the Surface," accusing the company of mistreating its killer whales. Now, it appears SeaWorld is trying to discredit their former employee by sending reporters a video in which Hargrove uses a highly offensive word.

[RELATED: Ex-SeaWorld trainer: Whales not healthy ]

The video shows Hargrove repeatedly using the N-word and was sent to Local 6 by SeaWorld's vice president of communications. It's not clear who recorded the video or who Hargrove is speaking with on the phone.

The company told Local 6 the video was shot less than five years ago when Hargrove still worked for the company.

Although Hargrove is wearing a SeaWorld shirt in the video, he does not talk about the marine park.

"We believe it is important that you see this video we received just this weekend from an internal whistleblower," SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs wrote in an email to Local 6 with the video. "We are offended by John's behavior and language. SeaWorld would have terminated Hargrove's employment immediately had we known he engaged in this kind of behavior."

Jacobs also disputes several claims Hargrove makes in his book, including reasons why the trainer quit three years ago.

Local 6 contacted Hargrove and his book publisher several times, but has not heard back. 

He told the Orlando Sentinel he does not remember the video and calls it a petty, childish attempt to discredit him.