For the 2nd time this year1, Universal Orlando Resort is having to deal with an incident involving white supremacist hand symbols. This time round, it involves an employee.
1: The previous incident saw guests visiting the park making hateful gestures – find out more about the incident here.
Reported by USA Today, this incident involved an actor dressed as the character Gru from Despicable Me. During a character breakfast at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando in March, the actor flashed the OK2 symbol while taking a photo with a 6-year-old girl who is biracial and autistic.
2: The Anti-Defamation League has said the symbol has become a symbol for white power.
Tiffiney and Richard Zinger only came across the hand gesture on their daughter’s shoulder while going through their vacation photos in August. A video provided to USA Today shows that the symbol was unlikely to be accidental, as the actor makes the symbol clearly visible after placing his hand on the girl’s shoulder.
“It’s more than the ‘OK’ sign,” Richard Zinger told USA Today. “A lot of people don’t understand what that sign means.”
Going by the USA Today article, the Zingers reported the incident to Universal in August. A month later, another email from the Zingers regarding the status of its inquiry was answered by Universal say the investigation was “proprietary information” while offering the family free tickets and a gift card. The Zingers said they’re not aiming for financial compensation.
However, the couple have hired an attorney. “I want to cause change,” Tiffiney Zinger said. “I hope this doesn’t happen to another family again and I pray that this doesn’t happen to another
In a statement given to the press, Universal spokesperson Tom Schroeder confirmed the actor who made the hand gesture has been terminated;
“We never want our guests to experience what this family. This is not acceptable and we are sorry – and we are taking steps to make sure nothing like this happens again. We can’t discuss specifics about this incident, but we can confirm that this actor no longer works here. We remain in contact with the family and will work with them privately to make this right.”Universal spokesperson Tom Schroeder