Universal Florida Sued For $30,000 After Despicable Me Gru ‘Flashes White Supremacy Sign’
Florida’s Universal park is facing a $30,000 lawsuit after Despicable Me‘s Gru allegedly flashed a ‘white power’ sign.
In 2019, it emerged that the ‘OK’ hand gesture, in which the thumb makes a circle with index finger with other fingers pointing up, had been co-opted by white supremacists, and was quickly added to a list of hate symbols.
Over in Universal Orlando, an actor dressed as the cartoon character has been accused of flashing this gesture in front of two biracial children, one aged five and another aged six, in February and March 2019.
The civil rights lawsuit was filed in Orange County on June 23, MailOnline reports. ‘He openly and pointedly displayed towards them a universally-known and universally-used hate symbol that indicates white power,’ it state.
‘This white power hand signal has become openly and widely used to express hatred towards a segment of the population based upon a person’s race, color and national origin, and it has prevalently and commonly been known as a hate symbol for years,’ it adds.
Photos show the costumed actor doing the gesture, with one showing him ‘flashing the sign’ on a young girl’s shoulder. She reportedly wanted to show the photo to her classmates, but decided not to because ‘a man did a bad thing to her because he did not like her because of her race and colour,’ according to the lawsuit.
A Universal spokesperson confirmed the actor had been fired as a result of the photographs, Click Orlando reports, but his identity hasn’t been disclosed at the time of writing.
The complaint is seeking compensation on the grounds of the girls suffering ‘mental anguish, loss of dignity, loss of innocence, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of enjoyment of life’ and accuses Universal of violating the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992. It is seeking more than $30,000 in damages.
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