The life of a Disney Character performer - does it need a little livening up? You've probably seen the reports already of a video posted on the internet showing character performers behaving - shall we say - "irresponsibly" whilst waiting in a closed-off backstage area. Despite obviously being filmed at least over 10 months ago (due to the inclusion of a Snowman in the antics), the video only just hit the headlines yesterday. Slow news day?,
The video was filmed last Christmas in the backstage area of Hotel New York, as the Cast Members waited to go “on stage” to perform as their respective characters. It was reported by two different daily national newspapers in the UK. First by The Sun, who sexed up the story with well-captured stills and sensationalised descriptive words in bold type. Later, the Daily Mail also caught on to the video, describing it as “smutty” and harking back to Walt Disney’s original vision for his characters, in the good old days.
Introductions to the varying styles of British tabloid journalism aside, even Reuters picked up the story later in the day, adding:
“The behavior shown on the video is unacceptable and inexcusable,” Disney said in a statement.
“The video was taken in the backstage area not accessible to guests. Appropriate action has been taken to deal with the cast members involved.”
As irresponsible as the behaviour was, whilst repesenting such iconic and respected characters, the fact that the event took place behind closed doors perhaps leaves only the cameraman as truly irresponsible. Admittedly, performers “larking around” backstage probably happens every day at Disney parks around the world, yet before now no one has found the need to film it and share it online.
Perhaps a better question here then is why, after already knowing about the video for several days, Disney has yet to use its legal muscle to have it removed. That’s what I call being Goofy.