Universal studios hit with lawsuit after Gru allegedly 'flashes white power sign'
The hand sign was added to the list of hate symbols in 2017.
Universal Studios has been hit with a $30,000 lawsuit after a person dressed in a Despicable Me costume was accused of making a white power hand gesture whilst posing for pictures with two young girls.
The lawsuit was filed in Orange County, Florida on June 23. The images in question show photos from February and March 2019 with the actor in the costume at the Universal Studios theme park making an upside-down 'OK' hand gesture.
This is a gesture that has been adopted by white supremacy groups, and was declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League in 2017.
One of the pictures sees the character posing with a six-year-old biracial girl, with the other featuring a five-year-old Hispanic girl.
According to the Daily Mail, the lawsuit says: "He openly and pointedly displayed towards them a universally-known and universally-used hate symbol that indicates white power.
"This white power hand signal has become openly and widely used to express hatred towards a segment of the population based upon a person's race, color and national origin, and it has prevalently and commonly been known as a hate symbol for years."
The girls' mother, Tiffiney Zinger, told USA Today that her and her husband had just wanted to do "something special for our family and this person ruined that special warm feeling."
The theme park has since launched an investigation and fired the actor in question.
A spokesperson for the park said in a statement: "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."