Looks like the happiest place on Earth isn’t so happy after all. Disneyland has always had the reputation of being one of the happiest places in the world, with children and their big kid parents flocking to their theme parks in droves each year. But for one family, a trip to Disneyland turned out to be anything but happy.
Jason and Annelia Black of San Diego County are suing Disneyland after they say the actor who portrayed the white rabbit from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ refused to touch their child because of race. The couple is also accusing the Disneyland actor of behaving impatiently while interacting with their children, but being extremely patient and affectionate while interacting with white children. At first the Blacks say they thought that maybe Disneyland had instated a new policy in which actors were no longer allowed to touch children, but after watching for a while they realized something was up.
According to Jason Black Sr.:
“There were two other kids that came up. The rabbit showered them. Hugged them, kissed them, posed with them, and took pictures. Meanwhile, that made my kids feel horrible.”
The couple’s two children, 9-year-old Elijah and 6-year-old Jason echoed their father’s feelings when they described how the white rabbit treated them:
“I was going to hug him, but he turned his back and that made me sad because I really wanted to hug him,” 6-year-old Jason Black recalled. As for Elijah, he says “The rabbit was turning his back on me. Then I went up to try to hold his hand, but he kept on flicking my hand off.”
Jason and Annelia said they filed a complaint with Disneyland officials once they noticed the difference in how the white rabbit related to white children and black children. However, Disneyland’s response to the situation wasn’t what they expected. The couple says they were offered VIP passes and $500, but did not want to return to Disneyland and turned down the gifts. In addition, the family says they were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement in exchange for more tickets.
The Black family says they aren’t looking to profit from this unfortunate incident, instead all they want is for the person in the white rabbit costume to be fired and a public apology from Disneyland.
If the allegations are true, sounds like the Black family request is more than reasonable.