Universal Orlando Employee Fired For Making 'OK' Hand Gesture in a Family Photo

Ferlon Webster Jr. | October 3, 2019
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A Universal Orlando employee dressed as Gru from “Despicable Me” was fired for posing in a photo with the “OK” symbol while standing next to a biracial child. 

The Zinger family attended the Universal Orlando Resort back in March and noticed the “hateful” gesture in August, which shook them to the core.

"I've been emotionally distraught about it. I'm still pretty upset that someone felt they needed to do this to children," Tiffiney Zinger told USA Today. "It can cause emotional stress on my child and her development." 

“It’s more than the ‘OK’ sign,” Richard Zinger said. “A lot of people don’t understand what that sign means.”

The “OK” hand gesture was recently labeled as a “racist hand sign” by the Anti-Defamation League because people have supposedly hijacked the symbol to be their expression of “white power” and will slip them in photos to use as an inside joke or prank.

"We just wanted to take them to see the minions," Tiffiney Zinger said. "Do something special for our family and this person ruined that special warm feeling." 

“I just want somebody to take responsibility for it because nobody is taking responsibility for anything,” Richard Zinger said.

Universal Orlando Resort Spokesman Tom Schroder issued a statement on the incident to USA Today:

”We never want our guests to experience what this family did. 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."

Whoever knew the “OK” symbol could cause such chaos?

Throughout my whole life I just used the gesture to say, ‘hey, all is well,’ or ‘hey, you did a good job.’ But in this day and age, everything — no matter what it is — is a “symbol of hate,” or racism, or bigotry. Pretty soon nothing will be permissible and people will be walking on egg shells in their attempts to communicate.