The star of an Oscar-winning documentary, caught in a dispute with officials in Japan over his alleged efforts to protect dolphins, was ordered deported from the country. The AP reports that Ric O’Barry, who is featured in the film “The Cove,” is refusing to leave Japan, insisting that he is there as a tourist.
“O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer for the ‘Flipper’ TV series, was detained upon arrival Monday at Tokyo’s Narita international airport,” the story reports. “Japanese authorities decided Friday to turn down his appeal to enter the country, according to his son, Lincoln O’Barry. His son and lawyer say immigration officials accuse O’Barry of lying during questioning and of having ties to anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, both of which O’Barry denies.”
O’Barry is the head of the dolphin protection organization the Dolphin Project, the report notes, adding: “He regularly visits Taiji, the fishing village portrayed in ‘The Cove,’ which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary.” In an email sent by his son, O’Barry said: “I’m incarcerated, on trumped up charges.”