Posted on September 27, 2022

Universal Settles Lawsuit over ‘Despicable Me’ Character Giving ‘Okay’ Gesture in Photos with Black, Hispanic Children

Alana Mastrangelo, Breitbart, September 24, 2022

Universal Orlando has settled a discrimination lawsuit last week with two families who alleged its employees dressed as Gru from Despicable Me used a hate symbol in photos taken with their black and Hispanic daughters. Court records do not disclose how much the company settled for.

Tiffiney and Richard Zinger, as well as Geisy Moreno and Joel Rodriguez said their children faced racial discrimination from costumed employees in separate instances at a resort hotel and theme park in early 2019, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

In one photo from March 2019, an employee dressed as Gru is seen holding a banana in one hand and making the “Okay” hand gesture with the other hand on the shoulder of the black child, referred to as J.Z. in court records.

In a second photo from February 2019, a costumed employee, also dressed as the Despicable Me character, is seen making the “Okay” gesture with one hand while posing for a photo with the Hispanic child, referred to as H.R. in court records.


While the “Okay” hand gesture, in most contexts, is “entirely innocuous and harmless” — notes the Anti-Defamation League — some now consider it a “white power” symbol, thanks to a viral hoax by members of the website 4chan in 2017.

In June 2021, the two families reportedly sued Universal in Orange County for more than $100,000 in total damages. They later increased their claims to over $75,000 for each plaintiff, and also sued Loews Royal Pacific Resort {snip}