Families sue Universal Orlando after actor made white-power ‘OK’ gesture posing with girls
Two families are suing Universal Orlando after separate incidents during which an actor playing the “Despicable Me” movie character Gru made a racist hand gesture while posing for photos and video with biracial children.
Universal Orlando laying off undisclosed number of workers
ORLANDO, Fla. Almost two months after reopening, Universal Orlando is laying off an undisclosed number of workers. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said in an email Monday that the Florida theme park resort was reducing its workforce to reflect current priorities and needs." Universal has put the construction of a new theme park, Epic Universe, on pause because of the pandemic. Like theme park operators around the U.S., Universal Orlando closed its doors in mid-March as the novel coronavirus started spreading in the U.S. It was the first of Orlando's major theme park operators to reopen when it welcomed back visitors in early June.
Universal takes first steps reviving Orlando theme park biz
In this Wednesday, June 3, 2020 photo, signs about social distancing and other protocols are seen about the theme park as guests walk by at Universal Orlando Resort Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Universal Orlando became the first of Orlando's major theme park resorts to reopen by allowing annual pass-holders to return to its three parks Wednesday and Thursday. All of Florida's theme parks temporarily closed this spring, and Floridians and theme parks fans across the U.S. were forced to stay home because of state and local lockdown orders meant to stop the virus's spread. Orlando's theme park industry, and synergistic businesses like hotels and restaurants, were devastated by the coronavirus-related closures. Tens of thousands of workers were furloughed and the theme park resorts have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Disney, SeaWorld announce plans for Florida parks to reopen
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. SeaWorld and Walt Disney World will reopen in Orlando, Florida, in June and July after months of inactivity because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to plans a city task force approved Wednesday. Disney plans a tiered reopening, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Disney World also plans smaller, soft openings prior to July 11, but no specifics were provided. When Disney Springs, a complex of restaurants and shops near Disney World, reopened, the company formed social distancing squads," which McPhee said have been popular with guests. Disney employees will be required to do temperature checks before heading to work, McPhee said.
Walt Disney World presenting plans for reopening parks
ORLANDO, Fla. Walt Disney World is presenting its plans for reopening after being shuttered along with Florida's other theme parks since mid-March because of the new coronavirus. Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando will present their proposals for phased reopenings before an Orange County task force on Wednesday, said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. With 77,000 workers, Disney World is central Floridas biggest employer. Last week, Disney World allowed third-party businesses at its Disney Springs dining and shopping complex to open with new restrictions. Crosstown rival, Universal Orlando, presented its reopening proposal last week to county officials, saying it was aiming to reopen June 5.
Universal Orlando seeks to reopen theme parks in early June
ORLANDO, Fla. Universal Orlando is aiming to reopen its theme parks in early June, a resort official said Thursday, more than two months after the company joined crosstown rivals Disney World and SeaWorld in closing their gates to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Universal Orlando executive John Sprouls asked Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings for approval to open the companys theme parks as early as June 5, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Universal, Disney World and SeaWorld have been closed since mid-March in an effort to stop the virus's spread. Officials with Disney World havent said when they plan to reopen. Many of those same protocols will be implemented at the theme parks.
Universal actor dressed as Gru fired for making 'OK' hand gesture in photo with girl
ORLANDO, FL - A Universal Orlando actor who was dressed as movie character "Gru" has been fired for making an "OK" hand gesture that has been designated as a hate symbol used by white supremacists in a photo with a biracial girl. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder on Wednesday confirmed to The Associated Press in an email that the unidentified actor no longer works for the company. Schroder says what the actor did is unacceptable. A photo shows the actor fully disguised as "Gru" from the "Despicable Me" movie franchise standing behind the girl with a hand making the "OK" gesture on her shoulder. The "OK" gesture was added last week to the Anti-Defamation League's online database of hate symbols.