Happy Halloween, my pets! Today can be a lot of fun for people, with the kids going trick-or-treating and promenading in school parades, unless, of course, you live in New Jersey or Connecticut, and really most schools since Halloween is on a Saturday this year. Anyway, there’s one group that the holiday isn’t much fun for, and that would be Universal’s “scare actors.”
Various actors who were employed at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, an event that hires around 850 scare actors dressed as all manner of creepy bugaboos, have reported claims of abuse at the hands of the visitors. As one of the actors, William Gailit, described the situation, “You pretty much name it, and people have experienced it.” And the list keeps piling on…
Gailit himself was kicked in the face by a visitor, which may lead to a battery charge. A similar incident is said to have happened with another zombie actor, who is connected to a Walking Dead-themed attraction. Another actor was reportedly kicked off his stilts and nearly forced to the ground by a drunk woman, despite the fact that the park bans alcohol consumption from patrons. In addition to that, three actresses hired by the park complained specifically of sexual harassment from visitors that is said to have reached to the point of attempted rape, as well as inappropriate touching, leading them to quit their jobs at the park.
Fortunately, Universal is aware of the situation and is trying to put a stop to it. According to spokesman, Tom Schroder, “We’re very aggressive and have a zero-tolerance policy toward any kind of incident” adding that they “spend a lot of time teaching our scare actors to scare safe.” The park seems to be capable of having a sense of humor about the situation, mind you; just reading this post on their website saying, “if you mistreat any of the Halloween Horror Nights performers, you’ll be sent home (possibly in a body bag).”
Hopefully, we can all learn to behave and have a happy Halloween.