ANAHEIM, Calif. (KTLA) — A trip to the Happiest Place on Earth turned into anything but happy for one Southern California family.
“I was going to hug him, but he turned his back,” 6-year-old Jason Black recalled, talking about the rabbit character from “Alice in Wonderland.
“Jason said that made him feel sad “because I wanted to really hug him.”
“The rabbit was turning his back on me,” 9-year-old Elijah Black echoed. “Then I went up to try to hold his hand, but he kept on flicking my hand off.”
The family claims that the person playing the character of the rabbit discriminated against their children because they are black.
“Our first instinct was okay, maybe they have new policies, maybe they aren’t supposed to touch the kids,” Jason Black Sr. said.
“So then, you know, we stood by and we just watched,” he added.
According to the family, the rabbit was happy to interact with white children.
“There was two other kids that came up, and the rabbit showered them… hugged them, kissed them, posed with them and took pictures. Meanwhile, that made my kids feel horrible.”
The incident happened last August, and the family says they immediately went to the management office to complain.
They filed an official complaint and were offered VIP passes, which they declined because the children were so upset.
Instead, they are asking Disney to make a public apology and terminate the employee in the rabbit suit.
“They’re not trying to get something they don’t deserve,” said attorney Daniel Gilleon. “All they’ve asked for is a little bit of recognition that this should not have happened.”
“It’s about the principle, and what are you going to do to make the situation better so this doesn’t happen to another family?” Black Sr. said.
After months of correspondence with Disney asking them to sign a waiver in exchange for more tickets, they’ve hired a lawyer.
They’re now asking for surveillance video to prove or disprove their claims.
Disney has not yet responded to the family’s demands for video. They released a statement saying they carefully review all claims by guests.