The clips show a man leaping and striking the mascot’s head from behind. (Screenshot of Weibo video)
It may seem like a dream job to play a childhood hero in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, but it’s not all giggles and cotton candy. A performer in a ShellieMay Bear costume at the Shanghai Disneyland hit a speed bump in wonderland after being struck in the head by a visitor.
The Saturday incident went viral in a video over the weekend after it was posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. The clips show a man leaping and striking the mascot’s head from behind.
The troublemaker has been barred from entering the resort for six months, Shanghai-based media Xinmin Evening News reported on Monday. He was reportedly subdued at the scene and then immediately expelled from the park on the same day.
The witness who captured the moment said that just one day before the incident, another performer dressed as “Dale,” a chipmunk character, was sent to the hospital with a concussion after being hit in the head.
“We were interacting with ShellieMay as she was shaking her behind,” the witness told Pear Video. She also expressed how grateful she felt for taking the pictures as evidence when posting the video on Weibo.
Neitizens erupted in outrage after watching the video, condemning the men’s mischievous behavior and calling for respect for the performers. Some even suggested a permanent ban on the “prankster” as a “real” punishment.
“Those who have not tried on this kind of costume may not know the fact that the inside of the headgear is a rigid structure with a bracket that is in direct contact with the performer’s head. When the outside is tapped, the impact inside may be amplified. It hurts badly,” said Weibo user @Kellyandherfriends.
“When I went to Hong Kong Disneyland two years ago, I patted Mickey’s head to say goodbye after posing with him. I didn’t realize my behavior was wrong. The park should post up more reminders to protect its staff,” another user @Zhangmeihuizi commented.
Such incidents seem to happen frequently in Shanghai Disneyland. Last November, a performer also dressed as “Dale” suffered a concussion after being struck by a female visitor, who claimed she did it just for fun.
“Pluto” and “Stitch” mascots have also encountered “violent” treatment, according to online comments by visitors.