Disneyland is supposed to be one of the most magical places on Earth, but one family's recent trip there allegedly went from happy to heartbreaking, due to the behavior of the park employee who plays the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
Jason and Annelia Black brought their two little boys, 6-year-old Jason, Jr., 9-year-old Elijah, and their cousins to the theme park on August 11. When Jason, Jr. went to hug the rabbit, he reportedly turned his back on him. Then, when Elijah tried to "hold his hand," the rabbit "kept on flicking" the little boy's hand off, he says. Jason and Annelia say that after the incident, the rabbit then proceeded to "shower" affection on a group of white children. Now, they've filed a lawsuit against Disneyland, because they believe their children were discriminated against by the person portraying the rabbit because they are black.
Okay, so, perhaps it was a misunderstanding. Maybe the guy had to go to the bathroom or was headed out on his break and just was like, "Sorry, kids, brb!" But eehhh ... I'm not sure. For one thing, it sounds like it was right after the snub that the white family came along. The boys' father, Jason Black, Sr., said:
Our first instinct was, okay, maybe they have new policies, maybe they aren't supposed to touch the kids anymore so then we stood by and we watched. There were two other kids that came up and the rabbit showered them, hugged kissed them, posed with them, meanwhile that made my kids feel horrible.
Aaaannnnd get this ... In light of the complaint, the park offered the Black family VIP passes worth $500 in exchange for signing a settlement, but they turned them down, says the family's attorney, Dan Gilleon. If that's true, it sounds like Disney was either a.) not taking the complaint seriously and/or b.) acting like they had something to hide. Maybe they were just hoping the family would be happy with the $500 passes and go away. Ugh.
Instead, what they'd really like and what it sounds like they deserve is a public apology and Disneyland to fire the rabbit.
The bottom-line seems to boil down to something Gilleon told the New York Daily News:
Regardless of whether the guy in the costume was a racist -- I don't know who he is or if he’s white -- the way he behaved, he was treating my clients differently. And the only thing that was different about them was that they were black.
Call it whatever you want, but the actions the Black family and their attorney are describing sound downright discriminatory. And if the story really did play out as they described, a public apology and the firing of this employee is the LEAST they should be asking for.
Here's the local news report on the sensitive suit ...
What do you make of this case?
Image via KTLA