Universal Orlando employee in ‘Despicable Me’ costume fired after flashing white power sign

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A Universal Orlando employee wearing a costume of Gru, a character from Despicable Me, was fired after a Colorado family noticed the character was flashing the white power sign.

According to USA Today, Tiffany Zinger and her family were at a character breakfast at Loews Royal Pacific Resort on March 23, when the Gru character posed for a photo with her 7-year-old biracial daughter, who has autism, and displayed the upside-down “OK” symbol on her shoulder.
Last week, the Anti-Defamation League added the “OK” symbol along with several others to their database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.

“We just wanted to take them to see the minions,” said Tiffiney Zinger, who is Black, to USA Today. “Do something special for our family and this person ruined that special warm feeling.”



Universal Orlando spokesperson Tom Schroder sent a statement to the paper confirming that the employee was later fired. “We never want our guests to experience what this family did,” said the 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."

The incident at Universal happened a week after the massacre in New Zealand where a man shot and killed 51 people in a two mosques and used the same “OK” white power symbol in court, says the paper.

This is also the second incident involving a hate symbol appearing at Universal Orlando over the last few months. In August, Universal removed a photo from their Annual Passholder Facebook group showing guests doing a Nazi salute and the sign for white power.

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