Universal Orlando is being sued by two families after an actor dressed in a ‘Despicable Me’ Gru costume and flashed a white power symbol on two separate occasions while posing for photos.
According to WKMG, the reportedly biracial girls, who were 5 and 6 at the time, were humiliated after taking the photos. In one instance, a 6-year-old met with the character for breakfast at Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort in March 2019. When she posed with him for a photo, he made an upside-down “OK” symbol, which the Anti-Defamation League includes on a list of hate symbols.
“He put his hand on her as if he was just doing it regularly, and as I was looking at the camera, he started to put the universal white supremacist hate sign on her shoulder,” Tiffiney Zinger, the girl’s mother, told USA Today. “… We just wanted to take them to see the Minions, do something special for our family, and this person ruined that special warm feeling.”
Another incident allegedly occurred when a 5-year-old posed with the Gru actor and he flashed the symbol in Feburary of 2019. The families are now seeking $30,000 in damages—given that one of the girls brought her photo to school and was told she couldn’t show it to the class.
“We never want our guests to experience what this family did,” a Universal Orlando spokesman told USA Today, previously mentioning that they fired the unnamed actor. “This is not acceptable and we are sorry — and we are taking steps to make sure nothing like this happens again.
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