Japan deports star of documentary on dolphin killing

TOKYO - The star of an Oscar-winning documentary that shows how dolphins are hunted in a Japanese village was deported to the U.S.

See Full Article

on Friday after Tokyo airport officials barred his entry and he was held in detention for more than two weeks.

Ric O'Barry said he was determined to come back to Japan and keep fighting to save the dolphins, working with Japanese people.

"The work will continue," he told The Associated Press from aboard his plane. "Taking me out of the picture won't stop it."

Japan's government rejected an appeal of a decision by immigration officials to deny O'Barry entry, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

O'Barry, 76, had been held in a detention facility at Tokyo's Narita airport since he landed on Jan. 18. He and his lawyer said officials accused him of lying during his past visits to Japan. He denies that, and said he is a tourist who came for dolphin watching.

O'Barry starred in "The Cove," which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary. In it, dolphins are herded by fishermen into a cove in Taiji, Japan, and speared to death, turning the waters red with blood.

As the dolphin trainer for the "Flipper" TV series, O'Barry has long felt responsible for dolphin shows and aquariums. He regularly visits Taiji.

"They are trying to shut me up. But they are creating a tsunami of attention for this issue," he said earlier this week from the detention facility.

"It breaks my heart to be deported," he said. "I never violated Japanese law. I never lied to Japanese authorities."

Immigration officials do not comment on individual cases.

Officials and fishermen in Taiji have defended the hunt as traditional, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken.

O'Barry said officials questioned him daily in what he described as an effort to get him to fall for trick questions and end up confessing to wrongdoing.

He said he felt weak and had not slept well, adding that food at the detention centre did not agree with him so he ended up eating candy bars and chips. He was taken to his plane in a wheelchair, flanked by guards, he said.

The lies he is alleged to have told immigration officials were technical, he said, such as initially saying he wouldn't go to a demonstration when he later went, but that was because at that time he had not yet been invited.

He was also initially accused of having ties to anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd.

O'Barry heads his own group, Dolphin Project, which aims to peacefully protect dolphins worldwide.

He is working with Japanese in communities that have previously relied on dolphin hunts to help them switch to new types of businesses, such as scuba diving and dolphin watching.

"This is a slap in the face to the freedom of speech," O'Barry said of his treatment. "But this has not shaken my love for Japan."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey among top Daytime Emmy winners

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" won the Daytime Emmy Award for best entertainment talk show, 20 years to the day that her character came out as gay on the sitcom "Ellen." DeGeneres' talk show was honoured at Sunday's live-streamed ceremony hosted by Mario Lopez and Sheryl Underwood. Source
  • 'The Flash' star Grant Gustin engaged

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Flash star Grant Gustin is engaged. The 27-year-old announced he had popped the question to his longtime girlfriend LA Thoma with a sweet snap on Instagram of the couple cuddling on the beach on Saturday. Gustin had no need to write a caption, instead letting his and Thoma’s huge smiles and the diamond ring on his fiancee’s engagement finger do the talking. Source
  • Lea Michele: 'I've never eaten fast food' [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Lea Michele owes her fit figure to a healthy diet which never includes fast food, soda or sweets. The former Glee star insists none of those snacks will ever be found in her home. “I’m good in the sense that I’ve never eaten fast food,” she smiled during a recent chat with E! News. Source
  • Kelly Ripa teases new 'Live!' co-host announcement

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    It looks like Kelly Ripa has finally found her "Live! With Kelly" co-host. Ripa, who has been without a permanent co-host ever since Michael Strahan left the show a year ago, posted a video on Twitter teasing a co-host announcement on tomorrow's show. Source
  • John Legend named first recipient of new social justice award

    Entertainment CTV News
    SALEM, Mass. -- John Legend is expected on a Massachusetts college campus this week to receive a social justice award. The singer-songwriter becomes the first recipient of the Salem Advocate for Social Justice award when he accepts the honour Tuesday at Salem State University. Source
  • Val Kilmer confirms cancer struggle on Reddit

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actor Val Kilmer has finally confirmed longrunning reports suggesting he has been battling cancer, insisting his swollen tongue is “healing all the time”. The Heat star’s health has been under scrutiny in recent years, and in January 2015, he was said to have checked into the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles to have a suspected tumour in his throat removed. Source
  • Roger Daltrey: The Who may never tour again

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Who frontman Roger Daltrey has urged fans to catch them in concert while they can as he’s unsure if the rockers will tour again after their upcoming U.S. dates. The Pinball Wizard stars have been touring constantly for the last two years, and while Daltrey loves playing for their fans, the ageing rockers have had enough of life on the road. Source
  • Bruce Springsteen evaded the taxman for years

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bruce Springsteen evaded paying taxes for several years during the early part of his career. The 67-year-old opened up about the financial problems that landed him in hot water with the IRS during a candid talk with Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Source
  • 'Fate of the Furious' races to $1B at the box office [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — “The Fate of the Furious” throttled past $1 billion globally and took No. 1 at the box office for the third straight week on a weekend where multicultural offerings dominated North American theatres. As expected, the eighth “Fast and the Furious” installment stayed atop the domestic box office with an estimated $19.4 million. Source
  • Globalism reigns at box office, while Fate of the Furious passes $1B

    Entertainment CBC News
    A South India sensation, a Hispanic-focused comedy and the highest-grossing film ever directed by an African-American made up the top three films in North America on a culturally diverse box office weekend. As expected, it was another runaway weekend for The Fate of the Furious, which took No. Source