Lawsuit: Disneyland's White Rabbit Refused To Hug Black Children
A family is suing Disneyland after claiming that the cast member dressed up as the White Rabbit from "Alice In Wonderland" refused to hug or touch their children because they were black.
Jason and Annelia Black of Spring Valley—just outside of San Diego—took their family to Disneyland last August to celebrate their nephew's birthday. Each of the children went up to the White Rabbit to hug him and take a picture with him, and the family said that the cast member went out of his way to avoid touching their children, according to a local Fox affiliate in San Diego (h/t OC Weekly).
6-year-old Jason Black Jr. told Fox, "I went to hug him but he turned his back. It’s made me feel sad because I wanted to really hug him."
This repeated itself with each of the children who tried to pose with the White Rabbit. Jason's older brother Elijah Black said, "Then I went up and tried to hold his hand but he kept flicking my hand off."
Annelia Black said she told the White Rabbit that her children wanted to hug him, and he responded by twirling his fingers to indicate she should just hurry up and take the pictures.
The children were shaken but the parents thought that maybe Disneyland had a new policy of not allowing cast members to touch the children. But then they watched as some other children, Asian and white, came up to the White Rabbit. Jason Black Sr. said, "[The] Rabbit showered, hugged, kissed and posed with them and took pictures. That made my kids feel horrible, it made us as adults feel horrible."
Some of the kids began crying, and the parents said they immediately went to management to report what had happened. They were offered VIP passes, but they declined. Disneyland later sent them a letter apologizing that their visit did not live up to their expectations and $500. They said they wanted a public apology and proof that the cast member had been fired—or some other indication that Disneyland had taken the incident seriously.
At that point, the Blacks filed their lawsuit. They said their goal with the lawsuit isn't money, but making sure no other family has the same experience: "This is Disneyland, this shouldn't be happening at Disneyland," Jason Black Sr. told a local ABC affiliate.
Disney released a statement saying, "It would be inappropriate to comment on a lawsuit we haven't seen yet. We carefully review all guest claims."