A Universal Orlando actor was fired after flashing the “OK” hand sign in a photo taken with a biracial child.
Tiffiney Zinger told USA Today that an actor dressed as the movie character Gru from “Despicable Me” posed with her 6-year-old daughter, who is biracial and has autism, at a March character breakfast at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, a Universal hotel.
The mother said she didn’t notice until August that the character had posed for the photo by forming an upside-down “OK” symbol with his fingers, which was recently deemed a racist symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.
“I’ve been emotionally distraught about it. I’m still pretty upset that someone felt they needed to do this to children,” Ms. Zinger said. “It can cause emotional stress on my child and her development.”
The girl’s parents said they reached out to Universal a few days after discovering the video in August and that they were offered a gift card and free tickets.
A Universal Orlando Resort spokesman initially declined USA Today’s request for comment but later confirmed Tuesday that the actor had been fired.
“We never want our guests to experience what this family did,” Tom Schroder said in a statement. “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 the actor no longer works here. We remain in contact with the family and will work with them privately to make this right.”
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