The union that represents Anaheim Disney Resort motel workers is being criticized for a flier being distributed to guests of the theme parks that warns, "Keep Your Children Close! Places Like Disneyland are a Magnet for 'Pedophiles.'"
"Has Local 11 gone too far?" begins a thread on Mouse Planet, a popular website that covers all things Disney.
The Weekly's Gustavo Arellano asked the same question about Unite Here Local 11 in his recent cover story, "Bringing Down the Mouse: Inside the acrimonious, two-and-a-half-years-long--and counting--fight between Disneyland and its hotel workers."
But that piece appeared before the distribution of this flier:
"It really just shows how desperate the union is," comments "cstephens
" to the Mouse Planet thread started by moderatorAdrienne Vincent-Phoenix
. "And how much it's not about the workers they are supposed to represent. I would be appalled if a union that claimed to represent me did something like this."
Vincent-Phoenix got the following reaction from Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown: "Local 11's leadership has reached a new low with this reprehensible tactic, and they should be ashamed of themselves." Brown also noted, "Millions have visited and enjoyed Disneyland Resort over the years."
Anaheim Police Department's spokesman, Sgt. Rick Martinez, confirmed for Vincent-Phoenix that, "Local 11 did request and spent months going through public records" dating back to 2005 and constituting "tens of thousands of pages." But Martinez could not confirm the Unite Here flier's claim of police being called to Disneyland 64 times between 2005-2010 over "sex offenses."
Martinez also noted that category of cases could include reports of prostitution, indecent exposure and consensual sex by adults in public places. Areas around--but not inside--Disneyland have historically been magnets for prostitution and police sweeps. Martinez did not know how many incidents, if any, cited by Local 11 involved children under 14 or registered sex offenders.
Vincent-Phoenix asked Local 11 spokeswoman Leigh Shelton for specifics about the 64 incidents, whether the union had gone too far and how the spread of the flier will help the union resolve its ongoing contract dispute with Disney. "We don't have any comment" was Shelton's reported reply.
To be fair to Local 11, the union is not alone in having raised red flags about pedophiles and Disney theme parks. Here is a brief online sampling:
- Anomolies Unlimited: "Disneyland Perverts"
- Skews Me: "Disney Pedophiles"
- Cure Zone by A Hurley Girl: "Admitted Pedophile Sets Up Website" (which includes a story that discloses a Southern California pedophile lurks at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and the Orange County Fair)
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- Consortium News: "Why the Media is Soft on Wall Street" (which includes the accusation ABC News, which is owned by the same parent company as Disney, squashed stories on pedophiles at Disney theme parks)
- Above Top Secret: "The Walt Disney Illuminati Pedophile Agenda" (scroll below the conspiracy theories for the supporting data)
Two Disney workers were arrested for soliciting minors for sex after a 2006 police sting at the Orlando theme park.
One wonders how Local 11 would have reacted if the accused were members.