SAN DIEGO – A trip to the happiest place on Earth was anything but for a Spring Valley family who’s claiming they are victims of racism and are planning to file suit against Disneyland.
The Black family took a trip to Disneyland in August and their son Jason Black Jr. met his favorite character The Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
“I went to hug him but he turned his back,” the 6-year-old said. “It’s made me feel sad because I wanted to really hug him.”
“The Rabbit was turning his back on him like he didn’t want to touch him,” said his older brother Elijah Black. “Then I went up and tried to hold his hand but he kept flicking my hand off.”
The family filed a lawsuit against the Anaheim theme park, claiming the person playing the character of The Rabbit discriminated against their children because they are black.
“I asked the rabbit, I said ‘he wants to hug you,’” said the boy’s mother, Annelia Black. “He’s like twirling his fingers, like hurry up take the picture.”
Their father said it was obvious The Rabbit was avoiding them.
“When the rabbit shied away from the kids, our first instinct was, maybe they have new policy. Maybe they aren’t supposed to touch the kids anymore. So we stood by and watched,” said Jason LeRoy Black Sr.
Two white kids approached The Rabbit moments later.
“[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,” said Jason LeRoy Black Sr.
The family said they immediately went to the management office to complain, showing them photos that they say indicate the rabbit was trying to avoid touching them.
They filed an official complaint and were offered VIP passes, which they declined.
Instead they’re 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 their attorney Dan Gilleon. “In fact all they’ve asked for is a little bit of recognition that this should not have happened.”
After months of correspondence with Disney asking them to sign a confidential waiver in exchange for $500, the Blacks have hired an attorney and are demanding surveillance video to prove or disprove their claims.