Did Tigger and Donald Duck grope women at Disney World?
The complaint against Donald was filed last month, based on an incident that supposedly took place more than two years ago. The document alleges that the 27-year-old complainant, while holding one of her kids, approached Donald and requested an autograph. Donald "proceeded to grab [her] breast and molest her." She claims "severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder." According to the Smoking Gun, she's "suing Disney for negligence, battery, and infliction of emotional distress, and is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages."
Gawker reports her allegations as truth. "Donald Duck grabbed her boob," it says. And now, as in the Tigger case, the copycat claims are pouring in. But already the story has problems. A Gawker reader has stepped in with a word of caution:
Worked at Disney in various levels of management, so I can tell you:
It was definitely a woman in that costume, as the height range to play Donald is very short. Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale are also almost exclusively portrayed by little tiny girls/ladies/Asian women.
Also, the visibility in those costumes is so incredibly poor, you can only see straight ahead basically (not up or down), so it's very possible that the character brushed her breast by accident and then apologized. Since they get in trouble if they speak out loud, an apologetic motion was all that could have been done.
Followed by this report from another reader:
I worked there a few years ago, and was "friends" with a lot of the shorter characters … and I had my fair share of complaints of wandering hands. The best were always when guests would complain about the "wandering hands" in character[s] that had broom handles for hands (i.e. Monsters)
Sounds a lot like the bum rap on Tigger, doesn't it?
Moral of the story: Uncorroborated allegations are not to be trusted.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Photographs of: Donald Duck by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Tigger by Fernando Leon/Getty Images.