Universal Orlando has fired Gru from “Despicable Me” for throwing a white power symbol in a photo with two biracial kids, according to a report.
The unidentified actor was in costume posing alongside a minion with a 2-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister, who has autism.
Their mom, Tiffiney Zinger, told USA Today that she only noticed later that the kids’ movie character was making an upside-down “OK” symbol, which the Anti-Defamation League recently added to its list of hate symbols.
She and her husband Richard then found a video that confirmed that the employee deliberately made the symbol while pretending to warmly welcome the youngster during the family’s trip in March, the mom told the paper.
“He put his hand on her as if he was just doing it regular, and as I was looking at the camera he started to put the universal white supremacist hate sign on her shoulder,” said Zinger, who is African American.
“We just wanted to take them to see the minions, do something special for our family, and this person ruined that special warm feeling,” she said.
The couple said the photo was taken in March — a week after New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant flashed the “OK” symbol during his first court appearance.
“I’ve been emotionally distraught about it. I’m still pretty upset that someone felt they needed to do this to children,” Zinger, who is from Colorado but also has a home in Orlando, told the paper. “It can cause emotional stress on my child and her development.
“I hope this doesn’t happen to another family again, and I pray that this doesn’t happen to another kid.”
Universal Orlando Resort said it had fired the actor involved.
“We never want our guests to experience what this family did,” a spokesman told USA Today. “This is not acceptable and we are sorry – and we are taking steps to make sure nothing like this happens again.
“We can’t discuss specifics about this incident, but we can confirm that the actor no longer works here. We remain in contact with the family and will work with them privately to make this right.”