SAN DIEGO -- Actor Orlando Bloom turned heads Saturday by claiming San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer left an interactive Comic-Con exhibit after finding out he would be portrayed as an "immigrant."
Bloom's comments, reported by Variety and other entertainment outlets, came after the mayor visited the pop-experience for a new series called "Carnival Row," in which Bloom stars.
At the amusement park-like, interactive exhibit just outside the convention center, participants are asked to pick either a "human" or "creature" card and then are led through a maze of options. The creature is described as “a mythological scrappy immigrant trying to make it in an oppressive new land,” according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In a panel discussion Saturday, Bloom claimed the mayor was assigned a creature card but said something along the lines of, “Oh no, I can’t have anything to do with immigration” and left, Variety reports.
The mayor's office denied the immigration theme had anything to do with his leaving, instead saying it was because of the wait-time for the experience. Spokeswoman Ashley Bailey offered this statement to the Union-Tribune:
“The mayor enjoyed visiting several studio installations set up throughout San Diego this week, and unfortunately there was a slight wait there and he had to move along. We’re excited Amazon is showcasing its new shows in San Diego this week. Mayor Faulconer and his administration actively work with nonprofits and local agencies to provide shelter to migrant families, and has a long record of advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. To be clear, the Mayor never even went inside the activation for this show as there was a wait. He continued to tour and saw activations for other Amazon studio shows and then left. The mayor’s strong record on immigration speaks for itself.”
Joel Day, a city immigration official, tweeted about the incident Saturday, referring to Bloom as his "Lord of the Rings" character "Legolas":
Day defended the city's track record on immigration issues and cheekily suggested Bloom apply for an active Immigrant Affairs job listing.