Disney closes 'insensitive' obesity show

2012-03-02 10:52

Orlando - Walt Disney World says it is changing an exhibit on childhood obesity after critics said it was insensitive and reinforced stereotypes.

The interactive Habit Heroes exhibit was closed shortly after its unofficial opening in February, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday. The official opening has been postponed indefinitely.

The Epcot exhibit in Florida features animated fitness superheros Will Power and Callie Stenics and villains including super-sized Snacker and Lead Bottom, who eat junk food and watch too much television.

The stigma

Critics say the exhibit reinforces stereotypes that obese children are lazy and have poor eating habits. Doctors say obesity can sometimes be attributed to genetics and certain medications.

"We're appalled to learn that Disney, a traditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, has fallen under the shadow of negativity and discrimination," the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance said in a statement.

"I was really disturbed to see the most negative habits were attached to really fat bodies," Peggy Howell, a spokesperson for the group, said after viewing a companion website. "These pictures further the stigma against people of higher body weight."

"That's why we have a soft opening. So we can open it up to others and listen. We've heard the feedback," Disney spokesperson Kathleen Prihoda said.

Comments

  • Stirrer - 2012-03-02 13:16

    OK, let's do the PC thing and hide the problem. Never mind that the kids will suffer from diabetes and premature heart attacks, as long as you don't hurt their feelings. "people of higher body weight" - is this what they call "fat" now? It's like calling a short person "vertically challenged". Eish.

  • antoinette.jordaan - 2012-03-02 14:01

    What crap.........it's the absolute minimum of people who actually have weight issues due to genetics and medications! I guess these people from "Fat Acceptance" then condones and enforces that you are okay being overweight?

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-03-02 15:00

    Poor fat lazy people. Don't make the issue about them eating like pigs. Make it about the nasty insensitive thin people who excersise, play sport and eat healthily. Pathetic. No matter how much they sugar coat is (pun intended) they will still be FAT.

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