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Despicable me? Despicable him!
Universal Orlando is facing criticism after an actor dressed as Gru — the lead character in the animated Despicable Me franchise — was seen photographed flashing an upside down ‘OK’ sign in a photograph taken in 2019. The family responsible for the picture discovered the symbol and claims it led to harassment when one of the young girls in the photo showed it at school.
The theme park is facing a civil rights lawsuit of $30,000 on behalf of the family of the two girls in the picture, citing mental distress upon discovery of the supposed white supremacist inside the Gru costume. The actor was let go shortly after the initial complaint was made in 2019.
According to the New York Post, “The civil rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of two girls, who were 5 and 6 years old at the time of the photos, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orange County on June 23, 2021.”
“He put his hand on her as if he was just doing it regularly, and as I was looking at the camera, he started to put the universal white supremacist hate sign on her shoulder,” said mother Tiffiney Zinger, reflecting on the controversial image.
Zinger lamented, “We just wanted to take them to see the Minions, do something special for our family, and this person ruined that special warm feeling.”
With more symbols of white supremacy conveniently appearing in the modern era than the face of Christ did on tortillas back in the early 2000s, the conversation surrounding racist iconography continues from two groups: actual white supremacists and proponents of PC culture. One more than the other.
Repulsive race baiting from Democratic leadership (e.g. Civil War and “Jim Eagle” comparisons) follows a supposed rise in white supremacy in America — an invisible cloud of racist oppression that has yet to be proven real.
One of the most egregious cases occurred in 2018 when clothing company H&M featured a black child modeling a hoodie that bore a simple slogan. Political players, including LeBron James, latched onto the perceived racist undertones and used the child model to propel their messaging of a new Jim Crow era.