Does Disney Springs Have A Profiling Problem?

Tampa Bay Times

Profiling happens. Everywhere. At the mall. At the airport. Even when walking down a street. Yes, profiling happens at the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” too, apparently.

I was once detained inside the Virgin store at Disney Springs many years ago. Being a rough-looking 6′-2″ bouncer with tattoos makes me an easy target for overzealous Paul Blarts out there. What was I detained for? I had a worn copy of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Mort’ in my back pocket. Yes. The doughy security guard tried to claim I was stealing a used book. A book, mind you, that that had more cracks and creases than Yzma’s face.

It’s one thing to single out someone who looks admittedly villainous. It’s another to target someone just because of their skin color. That looks like what has happened to one USF student at Disney Springs this past December via the Tampa Bay Times.

Jaalin Harvey, 24, is an annual pass holder who has spent year after year visiting Walt Disney World. During the Christmas season, Harvey was shopping at Disney Springs, where he feels he was relentlessly tailed. I’m not sure what the theft rate is at this place, but come on!

The situation caused the young student quite a bit of distress. Where someone like I could cause a scene with righteous indignation at such an insult, Harvey couldn’t. He feared that if he called out the invasive cast members, it would end poorly for him, regardless of his innocents.

He recounts his experience here:

Now, Disney did respond to this. Guest Experience Services representative Shane Hayes stated, “I have shared your message with the appropriate leadership teams so that they can take the necessary steps to ensure this is addressed. Should you ever encounter a Cast Member or situation that does not meet our commitment, I encourage you to request to speak with their leader or our guest relations team so that we can take swift actions at that time.”

Have you experienced any weirdness like this at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: Tampa Bay Times]

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