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Disney characters played by women 'inappropriately touched by tourists' at theme parks

The Independent logo The Independent 29/12/2019 Maya Oppenheim
a group of stuffed animals © Provided by The Independent

Staff who dress up as trademark Disney characters at Walt Disney World have lodged complaints with the police accusing tourists of groping them.

Employees who work as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck have accused sightseers of inappropriately touching them at theme parks near Orlando in Florida in December.

While the woman dressed up as Mickey Mouse said a grandmother who patted her on the head injured her, the women who wear Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse costumes claim they were groped.

Disney spokesperson, Andrea Finger, said: “Everyone should feel safe at work, and we encourage cast members to come forward in any uncomfortable situation.

Pictures: The dark side of Walt Disney

“We provide multiple resources to protect our cast members’ well-being, including on-site law enforcement officers who respond, and are available to them, if needed.”

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the woman who depicts Mickey Mouse had to go to a hospital after her head was patted.

The Mickey Mouse impersonator told authorities her costume fell down and she strained her neck after a woman touched her head five times.

She said she did not think the woman deliberately injured her, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

The sheriff’s office classed the saga as a civil rather than a criminal issue.

Boone Scheer said his mother-in-law had been patting Mickey Mouse’s head so her young grandson would be aware he need not be scared of the Disney character.

The sheriff’s incident report stipulates the Minnie Mouse impersonator allegedly had her chest groped three times by a man. She has not pressed charges against him.

The saga comes after battery charges were dropped earlier this month against a man accused of groping an employee playing Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid at Disney World.

Support for victims of sexual violence:

  1. NZ Police
  2. Victim Support 0800 842 846
  3. Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00
  4. Rape Prevention Education
  5. HELP (Auckland) 09 623 1700
  6. Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together
  7. Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Aotearoa New Zealand

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