There has not been an American President as polarizing and divisive as Donald Trump. No matter if you love him or hate him, voted for him or not, you have to admit that controversy has followed him since day one. So, it was only a matter of time before his animatronic likeness at Disney’s Hall of Presidents stirred up controversy. Over the busy Christmas holiday week, a kerfuffle broke out when a lone protestor, who was apparently at the Magic Kingdom on vacation started chanting “LOCK HIM UP” during the President’s Speech.
— Earnest Gay Thoughts (@JayMalsky) December 27, 2017
Jay Malsky is a New York based actor/comedian, who has had quite a few things to say about the President via his public Twitter account. Also, it seemed as if this protest was planned.
Will be in Disney next week and def going to the #HallOfPresidents on my last day in the park. Taking suggestions on what to throw at Trump.
— Earnest Gay Thoughts (@JayMalsky) December 20, 2017
— Earnest Gay Thoughts (@JayMalsky) December 19, 2017
No matter what your feelings are on the president, that’s never a good thing to say.
We reached out to Mr. Malsky about the protest, and he had this to say:
“Donald Trump is a mad man with fascist tendancies who has persuaded millions of middle-class Americans to vote against their own interests. So I was worried I’d be put on some sort of list (if I’m not already) and probably incur the wrath of ignorant sheeple. But I figured a bunch of them would be at this ride and wanted to show their kids what a protest looks like before Trump murders democracy. If people are upset that I disrupted their family vacation, I hope they’ll think about the thousands children being taken away from their parents because of Trump’s racist immigration policies, or the parents of the hundreds of trans people murdered each year by transphobic and homophobic people, or the negative impacts of the tax bill on poor and middle-income Americans. I encourage anyone outraged that I interrupted a ride at Disney to check their privelege.
Disney security is amazing and they do a great job protecting the millions of people who frequent their parks every day. They could not have been more professional and courteous to me once they made sure I wasn’t a legitimate threat to anyone.”
The issue was also observed by fans on several Disney websites, including WDWMagic.com, and the consensus is that the outburst was quite simply rude. During the refurbishment for the Hall of Presidents, Disney installed a spiked guard rail on the bottom of the stage, and two security stations on either side of the stage. Once the protest started, the protester was escorted out of the attraction by Disney security.
Bottom line? Start a ruckus, and you’re going to get removed by security.
So, was the protester right in protesting Trump in the Hall of Presidents? In our opinion, no. There’s a time and a place for everything, and disrupting family vacations with political views (either for attention, or for political reasons) is not the way to go about it. In most cases like this, people are usually issued a trespass warning.
Disney is a private business, and as such has rules and guidelines for the guests to follow. The main reason for it is so that it does not disrupt the vacations and good times of the guests who pay to be there. Voicing political opinions is fine, but not at the expense of those in a family vacation destination, especially when it’s going to do absolutely no good in protesting a robot. That means they cannot return to the park. We aren’t sure if that was the case here.
While we do not agree with the way that the protest was carried out, that does not mean we are against the right to protest. We believe that you should do so if you feel strongly against something, no mater what it is, as long as it is peaceful and within the law. If you go outside the law, then be prepared to face any consequences that may come of it.
And before you make plans to stage your own protest, remember that the Hall of Presidents (especially this version) is not about any one president. It’s about the American People, first and foremost and the leaders that we elect to take us into the future. It’s a look at our past, and how we got to where we are today and a reminder that we the people, are responsible for those who sit in that office, as the people who sit in the presidency are Americans like all of us.