In a recent Bloomberg article, a writer named Brandon Presser revealed that he had worked at Walt Disney World Resort for a week in order to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. Presser learned that the Walt Disney Company has a system in place to deal with aging Disney princesses, and that engaged Disney Weddings couples are not above forcing Disney employees to learn dance routines for their wedding day, but he also learned that some particularly recognizable face character performers often have to deal with being groped by female Disney Guests!
Apparently, an average workday for a Disney performer who plays the face character Tarzan or the face character Captain Jack Sparrow (from the Pirates of the Caribbean films) involves more than staying in character while dealing with messy or misbehaving children. Adult Guests, particularly female Guests, apparently have “mercilessly” touched these male characters without permission.
“Back when we debuted Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, he was mercilessly felt up all the time,” a former Cast Member apparently told Presser. “Women were putting their hotel key cards in his pocket every day, usually saying something like, ‘I know you’re not Johnny Depp and I don’t care’ or ‘Come find me later — and keep your costume on.’ ”
Johnny Depp, the actor who originated the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, has often been ogled by audience members after he became famous in the Disney community for his role as the handsome swashbuckling pirate. Performers playing Jack Sparrow, therefore, have had to contend with lovestruck and lustful Disney Guests who associate them with the actor himself.
Unfortunately, the situation seems even more uncomfortable for performers who play Tarzan. According to Presser, “scantily clad Tarzan had a similar problem, which is probably why he rarely roams the parks these days.” Tarzan is often clothed in only a loincloth, since that is what Tarzan wears in his animated movies — and as we know, Disney typically endeavors to make sure that characters are accurate when compared to their onscreen counterparts.
Have you ever seen anyone behave inappropriately towards a performer during a Disney vacation?