The Black family of San Diego, Calif., is suing Disneyland after the two Black children, ages 6 and 9, attempted to hug the rabbit character from "Alice In Wonderland" and the man exhibited what the family say was racist behavior, reports Los Angeles local news outlet KTLA. When one of the boys attempted to hug the rabbit, the costumed actor reportedly turned his back. When the other child went to hold his hand, "he kept on flicking [his] hand off."
“Our first instinct was okay, maybe they have new policies, maybe they aren’t supposed to touch the kids,” the boys' father, Jason Black Sr., told KTLA. “So then, you know, we stood by and we just watched."
Black Sr. continued, saying, “There was two other [white] 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 occurred last August, and the Black family has been battling with Disneyland over the alleged incident ever since, according to Fox local affiliate KSAZ. After filing a complaint and rejecting offers from the park, the family hired a lawyer.
When asked for comment, Disneyland officials told the network, "We cannot comment on something that we are not aware of -- and that we carefully review all guest claims."
“Regardless of whether the guy in the costume was a racist – I don't know who he is or if he’s white – the way he behaved, he was treating my clients differently,” the family’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, told the New York Daily News. “And the only thing that was different about them was that they were black.”
On Thursday, San Diego's ABC 10 News reported that a Los Angeles woman filed a separate racism lawsuit against Disneyland alleging that Donald Duck ignored her children because they are black.
These two examples may not be the only ones, claims Gilleon.
"I've gotten many emails and voicemails that I'm looking into. What this tells me is this isn't an isolated incident," the attorney told 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."