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Parents defend Nick the Fairy Godmother’s apprentice at Disneyland after viral video

‘Representation matters and children should be able to know that this is OK!’ says one person

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 27 June 2023 15:06 BST
Terrified guests at Disneyland Tokyo take cover amid 6.2-magnitude earthquake

Fans are defending a male employee at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disneyland after a video showed the worker dressed as a “Fairy Godmother’s Apprentice”.

This week, TikTok user Kourtni (@kourtnifaber) shared a video of her family’s recent trip to the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. The clip, which gained more than seven million views, shows a male-presenting park employee named Nick greeting visitors at the children’s boutique.

“So, my name’s Nick. I’m one of the Fairy Godmother’s apprentices. I’m here to shop you around and make all your selections for the day,” they can be heard telling Kourtni’s daughter at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

The Disneyland attraction allows children aged three to 12 to transform into a Disney prince or princess by choosing from a selection of costumes, hairstyles, makeup, nail colours, and accessories. The viral video showed the costumes ranging in price, from $250 to $450.

Meanwhile, employees at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique wear uniforms similar to the iconic Fairy Godmother’s dress from the 1950 animated classic film, Cinderella.

Since it was posted this week, the TikTok video has received much backlash from conservative commentators, amidst an ongoing wave of anti-trans sentiment towards gender-inclusive advertising.

“Stop taking your family to Disney,” tweeted TV host Sara Gonzales, while Rubin Report host Dave Rubin wrote: “Think how many real girls want that job at Disney and they gave it to him for a reason…”

Despite the supposed boycott, many fans have taken to social media to show their support for the Disneyland employee. “Nick seems like an amazing person and one of the best at spreading magic,” commented one viewer.

“I just fell in love with Nick. We need more Nick’s in our world!” another wrote.

“This is actually a good thing,” said someone else on Twitter. “Representation matters and children should be able to know that this is OK!”

Other Disney-goers took the opportunity to share their own alleged interactions with Nick at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. “He was the sweetest. My daughter was worried about getting her nails done and he was so good and patient with her,” said one TikToker.

“We had Nick and my girls loved him. He was so awesome!” another commented.

The Independent has contacted Kourtni and Disney for comment.

In 2022, the Walt Disney Company announced that employees at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will receive the gender-neutral title change from “Fairy Godmothers in Training” to “Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices” in an effort to be more inclusive.

The backlash to the Disneyland employee comes amidst widespread outrage as retailers such as Target, Kohls and Adidas include gender-inclusive clothing in their Pride Month collections. Last week, Target announced in a statement that it would be pulling some Pride merchandise from stores and its website after employees experienced “threats” over the items – including a “tuck-friendly” bathing suit option and greeting cards that used inclusive language.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year,” Target said in their statement.

Meanwhile, Adidas faced criticism after including a male-presenting model wearing a women’s swimsuit in its Pride Month campaign. Conservative critics claimed the photoshoot was “erasing women” by using the model to advertise its female clothing.

The sportswear brand’s Pride 2023 collection – which was designed by queer, South African designer Rich Mnisi – was created as “a symbol for self-acceptance and LGBTQIA+ advocacy.”

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