Disneyland faces backlash in China after beloved fox was ‘rude’ to fans
A Disney fox called LinaBell has gained worship in China. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images
Despite her recent emergence, Disney’s pink fox character LinaBell has already developed a cult following in China and is emerging as one of the country’s hottest celebrities. But her rising star lost some sparkle over the weekend after she was filmed behaving rudely towards fans.
LinaBell wowed young Chinese fans with her hairy cock and gentle demeanor when she made her Shanghai Disney Resort debut in September as a member of the Duffy and his friends line of plush toys.
Fans call the fox their collective daughter, turn her photos into cute messaging stickers, line up for hours to greet her at Disney park, and pay inflated prices to get plush toys from specialist purchasing agents. of LinaBell merchandise for those who can’t. visit Shanghai, the only place where the items are sold.
But the fox star is now facing the biggest controversy of his short career in Chinese showbiz.
Over the weekend, a video of LinaBell’s seemingly rude behavior while dating at Disneyland went viral on Chinese social media. In the clip, the character was seen responding to fans’ request to shake his tail by showing the exit.
After hearing a fan ask him to “give me a kiss,” LinaBell blew a kiss but then gestured to throw it on the ground and stomp on it.
The clip sparked outrage from some fans, who accused Disney of letting an ill-trained artist ruin the warm personality of their favorite fox.
“She’s supposed to be a brave and adventurous little vixen, but some performers make her so rude,” said a commentator on the Weibo microblogging site.
“Can’t you even give a kiss?” Said one of the top comments from the same site. “So why spend the money to visit Disney?” To take offense?
“Artists work hard no matter what,” another top-rated commentary said. “But please cherish the sincerity of visitors who come from afar and queue for hours, just to exchange a few words with her.”
The Shanghai Disney Resort did not immediately respond to Vice World News’ request for comment.
Although not featured in a Disney animation, the Duffy and his friends line, first introduced at Tokyo Disney Resort in 2010, has been a huge marketing success for the company. Other members of the line include Duffy the Disney Bear, ShellieMay female teddy bear, and a lavender bunny called StellaLou.
LinaBell has also generated huge revenue and internet traffic for the Shanghai Theme Park since its debut in September. Topics about her feature regularly on trending lists on social media, while clips of her waving hands and dancing have millions of views on TikTok in China. Toys sell out often, prompting local merchants to offer copy items.
Some fans have become so invested that they give nicknames to individual performers inside the costume and have favorites. Fans believe at least three people played the role of LinaBell, as the costume seems to fit each performer slightly differently. When a LinaBell video is posted, people try to guess who is inside by closely studying the measurement of the fluffy pants with the artist’s legs.
Some believe the rude LinaBell was played by a new staff member, and are asking Disney to give the cast members stricter training. Other netizens pleaded for more empathy for the performer, who had likely worked long hours in a heavy suit.
“No perfect human exists in this world,” wrote one Weibo user. “You don’t want to admit that LinaBell is human, but she is indeed played by humans.”
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