Family Sues Disneyland, Calls 'White Rabbit' Racist
Black family says costumed character discriminated against them
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2013 2:50 PM CST
Updated Feb 10, 2013 7:47 AM CST
The White Rabbit is shown in a scene from Disney's "Alice in Wonderland."   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – According to a lawsuit, the Black family went to Disneyland and got shunned by the White Rabbit—literally. The San Diego family is suing the amusement park because, they say, the employee playing the Alice in Wonderland character was racist. Last August, 6-year-old Jason Black tried to hug the "rabbit" and his older brother Elijah tried to hold his hand, but the employee ignored the boys, they tell Fox News. "The rabbit was turning his back on him like he didn't event want to touch him," Elijah recalls. "I went up to try to hold his hand but he kept on flicking my hand off."

But when two white children approached (the Blacks are black), the character showered them with attention and hugs, the boys' parents say. The family filed a complaint, with photo evidence, but they weren't satisfied with management's offer of VIP passes. They want a public apology and for the employee to be fired, in order to ensure "this doesn't happen to another family," says Jason Black Sr. They hired an attorney after months of battling, when Disney asked them to sign a confidential waiver in exchange for $500, and are now asking Disney to review surveillance footage of the incident.

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Showing 3 of 165 comments
Bieberforpres2016
Feb 11, 2013 5:16 PM CST
Does anyone else find it funny that the black family's last name is Black?
ewd76
Feb 10, 2013 4:56 PM CST
There's a reason uncle Walt called it the happiest place on earth.
RufusT.Firefly
Feb 10, 2013 2:14 PM CST
This broke my heart. I watched the video of the interview with the family and read the original story. There is no indication that this family is seeking financial compensation. They clearly say that they only want an apology and a policy change. They even turned down VIP tickets and a $500 settlement. Read the original story. Frivolous lawsuits annoy me. This is not a frivolous lawsuit. It's a lawsuit to force Disney to make some needed changes in their management practices. They are not living up to their motto of "The happiest place on earth." They are engaging in false representation of their mission. The family rightly documented what happened and immediately reported it to management. That's what you're supposed to do to retain and bolster your credibility when making an accusation: display due diligence. Kudos to them. I hope I would have done the same thing. Some of you are falsely accusing the family of being ignorant or opportunists, that they conflated a white rabbit with a white person. That displays your ignorance and racism right there. Besides, the race of the person playing the character is irrelevant. As with any group of people, there are plenty of self-loathing African Americans. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to interview the employee playing The White Rabbit. It's entirely possible the kids were clawing at her or him or engaged in some other rough, aggressive behavior and he or she had to exit the situation. I am a director. If I ever caught one of my actors doing something like that, they would be out on the street. Pronto. Not only is it cruel but it's damaging publicity. I would not be surprised to discover that Disneyland management has already talked to the employee and terminated them to keep it quiet. I cannot imagine them tolerating such behavior. Be honest. What would you do if it happened to your family?