Saturday, February 09, 2013

10980: Disneyland Discrimination…?

From The New York Daily News…

Second California family hits Disneyland with discrimination claims

A Los Angeles woman claims someone in a Donald Duck costume ignored her children, who are black, and played with white children instead during a Disneyland trip in December. Her lawyer says several families have reached out to him alleging discrimination at Disneyland.

By Philip Caulfield / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The lawyer for a black San Diego family that claimed they were discriminated against by a Disney character during a trip to Disneyland said he’s received dozens of calls from people alleging the same thing.

“I’ve gotten many emails and voicemails that I’m looking into. What this tells me is this isn’t an isolated incident,” attorney Dan Gilleon told San Diego’s ABC 10 News.

“It doesn’t mean Disneyland is racist, but they have some people in the company who aren’t playing by the rules and are being discriminatory.”

On Thursday, a second family came forward to say their two children were ignored by someone playing Donald Duck during a trip to the Magic Kingdom in December.

Nastasia White, who is black, told 10 News the person in the duck suit ignored two requests to take a photo with her children, Razzi, 5, and Ryder, 2, and played with white children instead.

“[Razzi] was sitting there with his arms open, saying, ‘Donald, Donald!’” White, of Los Angeles, said.

White told the station she wasn’t overreacting because the character’s brush-off “was done in a blatant and ugly way.”

The White family has hired Gilleon to pursue their case.

Disney has not responded to the Daily News’ request for comment. Earlier this week, the company said they carefully review all claims from guests at their parks and hotels.

Earlier this week, Jason and Annelia Black, of San Diego, claimed their children and cousins were ignored by someone dressed as the White Rabbit character from “Alice in Wonderland” in August.

The Blacks, who are black, claimed the costumed character turned away from them to play with some white and Asian families.

Gilleon told the Daily News that Disney officials tried to duck the family’s complaint by offering VIP passes worth $500 in exchange for a signed statement clearing the Magic Kingdom of any wrongdoing.

The Black family was suing Disney for violating California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination based on race, sex and other qualities, Gilleon said.

Gilleon claimed the snub was caught on security video, and he plans to subpoena Disney for it.

Violation of the Unruh act carries a penalty of $25,000.

The Blacks planned to claim anywhere from three to ten violations — based on the number of children present during the alleged snub — and also plans to also seek attorney’s fees and damages, including the cost of the trip, Gilleon said.

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