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Disney Job Discrimination

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by DanB315, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. DanB315

    DanB315 New Member

    I'd like to call to your attention a disturbing situation that happened to me at Disney casting recently in Orlando. I read with interest a “Call for Puppeteers” in the Summer ‘02 issue of the Puppeteers of America publication The Puppetry Journal. In it Mr. Jeff Conover of Disney Ent. was quoted as saying, “We are always looking for puppeteers. Even beginners can apply. We’re looking for people who have a basic ability and who want to become world-class puppeteers over time.”
    I decided to travel to Florida, at great expense and investigate the situation. It was a surprise to me that I was interviewed by a clerk (not a puppeteer). After checking into the audition schedule for the day, she stated that it is Disney policy that ALL puppeteers must also agree to walk around in costume as Mickey Mouse and other characters as needed.
    Being disabled, with cerebral palsy from the waist down, this was impossible for me to do.
    In my twenty five year experience as a puppeteer, I’ve never heard of such a policy, or lack of respect for puppetry. This is not what a “world-class puppeteer” should be. I know I’m not the only qualified puppeteer who has been refused a job at Disney, and hope this doesn’t happen to other puppeteers.

  2. Billy's Girl

    Billy's Girl New Member

    That makes me so mad!!!!!! It really does make me angry when people are discriminated againist etc because of disabilty. Because my health is bad I have had people reject me for jobs and I always let them know how angry this makes me feel :mad:

    Did you let them know that you felt they had advertised the job unfairly?

    I think it's disgusting when people don't bother looking at experience and talant and instead judge on face value :mad:
  3. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    I would just like to remark that I didn't follow through with that advertisment because I don't want to work for that corporate dump we all know and love as Disney!

  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    My goodness...I guess Disney likes to humiliate all the talented puppeteers with the ol 'gotta wear the mouse' mandate.

    See, unlike the Muppets...Disney has to have teens dress up as their goofy characters just to give a sense of whatever it is theyre trying to do. Sad to see them go so extreme for these ideals.

    Anyways, its good a lot of us dont hold Disney on this pedistool.
    (most their cool stuff anyways isnt even inhouse like Pixar, etc)
  5. kansasteen14

    kansasteen14 New Member

    I am SO SORRY tis happened to you but a couple of things to think about:

    1.first of all I think you most likely talked to the wrong person about this,becuase I dont know what a puppet is for in Disney but I know that would go in the entertainment department which also has characters,you may want to try contacting someone else.

    and for anyone else have you ever been behind the scenes at Disney? how can you call it crap if you know nothing about it,I'm sorry but Disney bashing is so boring.
  6. DanB315

    DanB315 New Member

    Puppet Web Site

    Hi All!
    Please check out my new web site, with thanks to Nikolai Shishkin for
    creating it.
    It has a photo of me with Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog, and puppet and
    Russian photos and links. Hope you like it.

  7. Hairfarmer

    Hairfarmer New Member

    'Sounds to me like corporate stone-walling. They can have a requirement that the people who walk around in the character suits not have certain physical limitations because it could be dangerous, or a health concern for the individual. Then by requiring the puppeteer aplicants to also have to do the other job they don't have to consider a new hire that would cost them in insurance. My wife worked at a very large corporation >cough<IBM>cough< for several years and it's really sickening the way these b@s+@rds set-up strings of qualifiers for they're "benefits packages" until they're basically useless.
  8. DanB315

    DanB315 New Member

    Disney Job Discimination?

    I talked to someone at Disney employee relations (complience). She said being in costume IS Disney policy, and they DON'T hire puppeteers. Why then did two Puppetry Journal articles ask for puppeteers? She said she'll investigate hiring and advertising policy.

    Danny Burge

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