First of all, as far as we know, the names involved in this story of allegations of racism against Disneyland (the White Rabbit, and the Black family) are just a coincidence. But one San Diego mother says an Alice in Wonderland character's poor treatment of her son at the theme park was intentional, and it was based on his color. Annelia Black filed a lawsuit on Monday to that effect, ABC News reports.
Maybe there's more to this bizarre claim than this report makes clear, because it's difficult to tell exactly how Black came to that conclusion about the furry cast member's aloof behavior. Of course, if the rabbit was truly a bigot, no one would disagree with the father's take on the experience. "This shouldn't be happening at Disneyland," Jason Black told ABC.
In August 2012, Annelia Black and her family took a trip to Disneyland to celebrate her nephew's birthday. Upon entering the gate, the White Rabbit — a character from "Alice and Wonderland" — greeted the family.
10News obtained a photo that was snapped of the smiling birthday boy next to the character. But moments earlier, the family said there was an odd exchange between the character and the child, who was reaching out.
"He held out his hand and the rabbit just spread his hands and didn't take his hand," said Annelia Black.
Soon after, another photo was taken of Black's 5-year-old son, Jason, next to the rabbit. Jason said he's smiling in the photo, but not on the inside …
"I was like, 'He wants to sit on your lap,' and the rabbit just twirls his fingers," said Annelia Black, who added that her niece got a chilly reception and so did her other son, 9-year-old Elijah.
"I was trying to pull his hand, but he kept trying to pull his hand out of my hand … I felt angry and sort of sad," said Elijah.
After the photos were taken, the family said they watched the rabbit shower the next two children — an Asian girl and a Caucasian boy — with kisses and hugs. That's when the Blacks said family members started crying …
"What's clear to me, I can't think of anything other than racism that could be the cause," said Dan Gilleon, the Blacks' attorney. "What it tells us is racism is even in places like Disneyland" …
Disney issued this statement regarding the Blacks' claims:
"It would be inappropriate to comment on a lawsuit we haven't seen yet. We carefully review all guest claims."
Read more at ABC News.