Walt Disney World has pulled the plug on its latest themepark attraction, at least temporarily, following complaints that it promoted bullying.
The attraction, called Habit Heroes, was conceived in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
In premise, the exhibit would take visitors through a series of interactive experiences designed to promote healthy habits. In practice, it would probably have a medium-sized line and be very boring.
The most roundly condemned element of Habit Heroes was its featured villains: monstrously overweight creatures with names like "Lead Bottom," and "The Glutton," who eat too much, watch a lot of TV, and generally live the American dream. Critics complained that such characterizations were insensitive and reinforced stereotypes that obese children are lazy and more likely to be supervillains than their svelte peers.
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance exists and released an official statement decrying Disney as a bunch of cold-hearted fat-shaming bullies:
"It appears that Disney now believes that using the tool of shame, favored so much by today's healthcare corporations, is the best way to communicate with children.
Disney, in partnering with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, has taken the side of the bullies."
Ironically, the exhibit was set to open in Disney's Epcot themepark, where there's nothing to do but eat your way across the World Showcase, anyway.
Data released from the National Center for Health Statistics on Wednesday showed that about 16% of the calories in the average American child's diet come from sugars. (No word on the sugar/spice ratio for girls.)
[Image via Getty]