CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese netizens furious after staff of Shanghai Disney Theme Park hit in the head by visitor
Published: Oct 10, 2021 11:27 PM
Employees dressed in costomes of the artistic cat Gelatoni (left) and Duffy the Disney Bear at the Shanghai Disney Theme Park File Photo: CFP

Employees dressed in costomes of the artistic cat Gelatoni (left) and Duffy the Disney Bear at the Shanghai Disney Theme Park File Photo: CFP


A video showing an employee dressed in a Duffy Bear costume at the Shanghai Disney Theme Park being hit in the head by a visitor has gone viral on Chinese social media. The images ignited the fury of many Chinese netizens who made calls to stop impolite behaviors and blacklist the visitor. 

The video shows an employee wearing the costume of Duff the Bear holding his face when the staff next to him came to talk and hug him. Some visitors also came forward to comfort him. The netizen who posted the video claimed that the employee was hit in the head by a visitor.  

The hashtag "Shanghai Disney's Duffy being hit in the head" has earned 140 million views on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of Sunday. Many Chinese netizens took on social media to criticize the impolite behavior and many suggested banning those immoral visitors from entering the theme park. 

This is not the first time that staff from Disney's theme parks suffer physical attacks. According to the report by Youth Net, an employee wearing the costume of Winnie the Pooh was chased and beaten by a child on May 6. In November, 2017, one employee playing the role of Chip and Dale was also attacked. A tourist jumped from behind the crew and slapped her making the employee hit her head with the hard material inside the costume. The employee suffered a concussion and later was sent to an emergency center.

It is reported that, to maintain the smoothness of shape and appearance, Disney's headgear are made of hard materials. For example, the inside of the headgear needs a large amount of steel frame to support the structure, so when the actor is attacked from the outside, in addition to any blow the weight of the entire headgear will hit the actor's head.

Xie Zhiyong, a professor at the Chinese University of Science and Law, told the Global Times on Sunday that if the tourist's behavior did not cause any injury, it could not be escalated to a legal sanction. However, the park's management needs to put a stop to this and regulate visitors' behaviors. 

Media reported that Shanghai Disneyland published a rule to visitors that includes respecting other tourists, cast and crew (including but not limited to staff and actors) and Disney friends in the park, use polite language, and avoid any dangerous, illegal, destructive or offensive behavior.

However, if an uncivilized behavior causes intentional injury or becomes a public security incident, then legal sanctions must be imposed in accordance with the public security management penalty law, added Xie. 

Yan Yiming, a lawyer based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Sunday that if the crime of intentional injury is constituted, the injured employee has the right to claim compensation from the tourist. 

"According to penal law, the person who damages public order, including chasing, intercepting or insulting, even if no personal injury is caused, can also be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of less than five years," Yan said.


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