Shanghai Disneyland Sends Thousands Of Costumed Employees To Re-Education Camps
As trade talks with China continue to deteriorate troubling questions concerning human rights in the People’s Republic receive scant attention. Owing to China’s growing economic power, foreign governments increasingly turn a blind eye to the plight of costumed employees at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. While the Chinese and US governments continue to bicker on tariffs and igniting a full-blown trade war, the Shanghai Disneyland is quietly spiriting away costumed mascots and locking them away in internment camps in the name of “internal security”. While details are sketchy at best, observers following the matter estimate that perhaps as many as 3,000 theme park employees dressed as beloved Disney characters are being imprisoned without charge in the Tower of Terror and subject to indoctrination.
Disney, which jointly owns the resort with the state owned company Shanghai Shendi Group, cast doubt on the alleged human rights violations. CEO Bob Iger downplayed concerns in a press conference today, telling reporters
“Charges of human rights violations at one of our entertainment destinations are totally overblown. While some in the media have hysterically claimed the cast members are being kept in concentration camps, I prefer to use the designation our Chinese partners prefer and call the sites what they are: re-education camps. Regardless, this is an internal matter the Chinese are addressing and I will not comment any further. Good day”
Although little is known about life in the Disneyland camps, observers allege that conditions are brutal and the use of cattle prods on costumed mascots deemed “harmful to society” is said to be commonplace. While many dreamed that democracy would follow China’s embrace of market reforms such hopes were dashed following the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Today it is all too obvious that authoritarianism is alive and well. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that China has performed admirable feats in recent decades, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and charting a path toward a future as a global superpower. China’s economic dynamism and the brutal conditions of the Shanghai Disneyland are part and parcel of President Xi’s mission to build “the happiest place on Earth with Chinese characteristics”.