Actor calls 13-year-old girls "whores" at Universal Hollywood, according to cell phone video

Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014 9:29 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Two 13-year-old girls say they were called an inappropriate name by a character at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. The incident was caught on camera. Roxy Fisher and her friend Kayla Beals went with a group to Halloween Horror Nights on Sept. 26 to have some fun. But instead, they say they felt embarrassed by what the character said.

Read more and see video from KABC/LA.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:21 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Oh, come on!

Everyone knows that in that case your boss isn't being gay...he's being retarded.

:)


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Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:28 PM
Jeff's avatar

Nice.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:52 PM

Never knew verbal abuse was part of the "show".

I don't think it's about what you can handle.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 5:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

B'ster B said:

Never knew verbal abuse was part of the "show".

But it's about context and intent.

This is no more abuse than threatening you with a knife or chasing you with a chainsaw or countless other 'acts of violence or distress' put upon you at these sorts of things.

The was nothing malicious or spiteful about the intent in that video. In the context of the halloween event it was a harmless comment within the more 'adult' tone of their halloween event.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, October 23, 2014 5:26 PM
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Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:06 PM

B'ster B said:

No excuse for calling someone's daughter a whore, even if said employee was taunted by them. It's called professionalism.

Exactly. I worked retail for 8 years. These girls were the customers and you don't call the customer a whore unless it is understood that is what the customer is paying you to do. I think if the character was calling other female characters whores it wouldn't be such a big deal. Hearing mature language and having the language directed at you personally are different situations. I don't think there's any reason for legal action but the park seems to have handled this poorly.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 8:20 PM

Wait... You mean there aren't really whores at Hollywood Whore Nights?!? That's so gay its retarded...

😜


But then again, what do I know?

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
But it's about context and intent.

Would it have been OK for her to call someone gay, retarded, or use the N-word? Is that contextual? I don't see any difference.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:45 PM
kpjb's avatar

I honestly didn't think "whore" was considered that big of a deal. If I had to pick the female equivalent of those words, I'd go with the C-bomb.

I'd think whore was more of an "asshole" level insult.


Hi

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:51 PM
LostKause's avatar

I was discussing this on Facebook with some people who frequent this site and was actually in the minority with my opinion that calling customers names is wrong.

I work at a department store's customer service desk. I have to handle all kinds of people, some of whom can be very difficult at times. I can guarantee that if I ever called any customer a slut or a whore, I would immediately be fired. And that's no matter the age of the customer, and no matter if they were starting trouble or not.

Even if they were trying to start up trouble, the actor should be professional enough to hold their tongue. There are ways for a character to argue playfully with guests like that without resorting to name calling.

Although Universal Studios puts on an "extreme" event, it is also a business that acts in a professional manner. It is absolutely clear to me that calling people these names is not in the actor's script. Having worked at HHN before, I can almost guarantee you that this actor was told not to call people derogatory names. The haunt training there is very thorough.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014 11:35 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I think the line I'm drawing -- and yes, I'm totally drawing an arbitrary line -- is this:

Going after a guest with a chainsaw, with chain or without, is okay. It's a Halloween event. One enters with the expectation to be scared. Depending on the specific event or haunt one goes to, that may or may not include being touched or threatened.

Using words that may or may not be found offensive by guests is not okay in a park, for me. Context is vital when using words and it's generally not possible for the actors to know how guests may react to words that are potentially offensive, whether it's 'whore' or a possibly insulting phrase referring to gays or lesbian or what have you. The net any park is casting to entice guests is too wide to make such words excusable.

And having blathered on like that...on the other hand, watching that video I wondered, was that scare-actor doing some kind of Joan Rivers riff? Because Joan Rivers would use such words in her act.... which doesn't make the use of such a word by anyone who is (was?) not Joan Rivers excusable, but maybe understandable...

Last edited by slithernoggin, Thursday, October 23, 2014 11:36 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 11:46 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

I don't see any difference.

Well, there's your problem. :)

I'm with Joel on this. Whore isn't even close to the level of the other terms you're comparing. (and without getting too into it, in the correct context, I don't necessarily see it inappropriate for those terms to be used either - for example, the N-word in rap music)

You're subjecting yourself to a PG-13 experience at best (arguably R) - can you see a woman be called a whore in a PG-13 or R rated movie?

slithernoggin said:

I think the line I'm drawing -- and yes, I'm totally drawing an arbitrary line -- is this:

Going after a guest with a chainsaw, with chain or without, is okay. It's a Halloween event. One enters with the expectation to be scared. Depending on the specific event or haunt one goes to, that may or may not include being touched or threatened.

Using words that may or may not be found offensive by guests is not okay in a park, for me. Context is vital when using words and it's generally not possible for the actors to know how guests may react to words that are potentially offensive, whether it's 'whore' or a possibly insulting phrase referring to gays or lesbian or what have you. The net any park is casting to entice guests is too wide to make such words excusable.

And the idea that it's ok to be threatened and touched in the context of full graphic R-rated violence sets the bar as far as I'm concerned.

"Oh, I'm ok with graphic violence and having my life threatened in the name of fun and scares. But if you call me a whore in the same spirit, well then buddy, now you've crossed the line."

It's absurd.

One the HHN Hollywood FAQ page:

7. Is there an age minimum for the event?

No. However, this event is recommended for mature audiences only. We strongly urge parents with children under the age of 13 to reconsider visiting this event with their children. They will be exposed to extremely adult material. There are no refunds for this event.

I think everyone is still skirting the real issue here - that maybe these 13 year old girls weren't ready for an event like HHN...which warns you that you will be exposed to extremely adult material.


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Friday, October 24, 2014 12:06 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I agree and I disagree with you.

I agree that these young ladies mayn't have been mature enough to attend the event. (I would cast the blame here on their parents, who either allowed them to attend or weren't paying sufficient attention to their activities.)

I disagree that words are secondary to physical threats in an environment one has willingly entered, knowing that physical threats are likely to occur. As a "scare-actor", you can reasonably assume I will be scared if you come up to me with a working chainsaw. I walked into the space knowing someone(s) would try to scare me. You can't assume I will be okay with you calling me an n-word f-word this-word that-word -- you can't tell from looking at me what words I will find offensive.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Friday, October 24, 2014 12:06 AM
LostKause's avatar

But personal name calling is not scary, and is not appropriate for any age guest, haunted attraction or not. No matter how extreme a haunt is, calling people names is unprofessional. It could also cause a fight between the actor and the guest; guests know that the person behind the make-up is an actor. It just gets too personal.

I haven't been to a aunt in which the actors call people names. Are there such haunts*?

*Not counting the "by invitation only" haunt in CA in which a limited number of guests per night are blindfolded and tortured for hours and hours...


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Friday, October 24, 2014 12:31 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

...you can't tell from looking at me what words I will find offensive.

And that mentality sort of applies to any aspect of the haunt. What about themes and imagery? Perhaps I find the women actors too scantily clad or some of the darker themes at odds with my personal beliefs. There are tons of ways to be offended at these things if you really want to be.

Those ideas go well beyond the generic idea that you're "going to be scared".

It's horror-themed entertainment with a warning that it's adult in nature. It's not the kind of place you visit if you're concerned about potentially offensive material. The idea is that you're subjecting yourself to a pretty extreme circumstance. That's the point. That's the product.

This is the park that just last year had to shut down the Bill & Ted show because of pushing the bar on the gay jokes a little too far. It's what they do.


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Friday, October 24, 2014 2:11 AM

I don't think it was appropriate to call children whores, but the whole thing just reeks of set up. You can't really tell if this actor is addressing this particular group of girls or characters from the show. No one witnessed the whole "pay to get in and talk to a manager" thing either. Then these people get Gloria Allred to ask for an apology? They're smiling and posing for pictures? I don't condone the behavior of the actor, but it appears that something could have been taken very largely out of context, or these girls might not have even understood the "skit" going on. Universal isn't exactly G-rated with its attractions to begin with, so I can imagine the language gets filthier for haunt events.

In any case, I do feel like this is blown way out of proportion. Even if everything is exactly how these girls made it out to be, why do they need to go to the media and express all the butthurt? Seems a little attention...whorish.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Friday, October 24, 2014 7:49 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

And the idea that it's ok to be threatened and touched in the context of full graphic R-rated violence sets the bar as far as I'm concerned.

"Oh, I'm ok with graphic violence and having my life threatened in the name of fun and scares. But if you call me a whore in the same spirit, well then buddy, now you've crossed the line."

This needs to be cleared up right away: there is absolutely zero threat to anyone's life and zero violence at these attractions. There are simulated physical threats and artistic depictions of violence, but no real blood is being drawn and no one is actually getting injured or even under the threat of being injured (unless there's an accident). It's fake. It's all staged. Just like on a roller coaster--even though you're falling hundreds of feet through the open air there's still no real danger involved.

Now Gonch, I don't think you really believe that you're having your life threatened, but that's what you said, and I think you said it that way to make for a starker contrast to being called a name. That's a bit dishonest.

As far as the video, it seems the actress' patter was, if not scripted, at least part of the act. It didn't come across as a personal attack against these girls. As bunky said, it's hard to tell whom she's even addressing, though it looks like she's talking directly to the group of older guys right in front of her. Regardless, I guess it is crossing the line a little bit (more so if she'd had looked directly at the girls and called them whores or something worse), and I think the families are justified in seeking an apology. Don't know if they need legal representation for that, but whatever.

I will say that if you're worried about rumors getting spread at your school, making such a public spectacle of the situation and sending your video to the media probably isn't the best idea.

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Friday, October 24, 2014 7:49 AM
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Friday, October 24, 2014 8:30 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I agree with Joel, Gonch is a whore.

Wait, that's not what we're discussing?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, October 24, 2014 8:47 AM

Here's my advice. Don't use any of these words or any others that we haven't been talking about at such an event, whether some here perceive it as "expected" or not. I've always been taught to err on the safe side.

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Friday, October 24, 2014 9:02 AM

LostKause said:

in which the actors call people names. Are there such haunts*?

Numerous ones. I honestly don't think I have been to one where they don't in some form of another.

One of the witches at Cedar Point called my a little girl a "spider" and wanted to "make some spider stew" out of her. We both laughed, my daughter said she liked her makeup, and we moved on. Name calling yes, offensive? No. BUT what if it was someone who loves spiders, or someone who lost a love one in some part of Africa due to a spider bite? I'm just saying it happens all over the place.

I agree with the comedian comment on Joan Rivers. I go to see MANY comedians. I know what I'm getting into. Joan Rivers, J.Medicine Hat, etc. Those are some comedians that can cross way over the line. But I know what I'm getting into. I still would like to see the whole video to see the act.

Heck, even Winterfest at Kings Island had a puppet that made fun of the guests from up in his "house"...that guy was pretty funny too.

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Friday, October 24, 2014 9:19 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
This is no more abuse than threatening you with a knife or chasing you with a chainsaw or countless other 'acts of violence or distress' put upon you at these sorts of things.

Exactly. And frankly, this negative reaction seems perfectly in line with our Nation's completely bass-ackwards sensitivities. Gore, violence, greed, and the like are all prefectly fine, even on broadcast television. But anything remotely sexual? Well, now everyone's all offended and someone needs a nut-punching.

Given the pretty straightforward language of the warnings, it seems the parents misjudged what they were getting into. I mean, if you read the warning that "extremely adult material" will be a part of the show, and subsequently get this offended by exactly that, I'm not sure how that's Universal's fault.


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