BUENA PARK (CBSLA.com) — A Southland woman is speaking out against Knott’s Scary Farm after she claims she was harassed by park employees because of her weight.
“I won’t ever go back there,” said Nicole, who did not want to share her last name.
For the past six years, Nicole and her friends loved going to Scion Night at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween attraction.
She said that all changed this year.
Nicole said the moment she and her friends walked into Knott’s Scary Farm the characters began taunting them.
First, a man dressed as a green witch character made fun of her eyebrows and, then, her weight.
“I’m like, ‘Leave me alone. You guys are mean.’ And he’s like, ‘We are paid to be mean,’” Nicole said.
“I called him a jerk and he told me I needed to go to Jenny Craig,” she said.
As Nicole walked away, she said a monster with a pig mask followed her.
“He was this little pig monster dressed up. I’m by myself in front of everyone and the pig is circling me, snorting at me – not anybody else, just me,” Nicole said. “It’s just really humiliating.”
Then one of them approached her friend, who was dancing, and asked, “Are you dancing or having a seizure?”
Nicole said she and her friends were so uncomfortable that they cut their visit short.
She said she wrote a letter to Knott’s management which included the following:
“All of these incidents are clear examples of weight and disability discrimination. When did this become acceptable? When did Knott’s become a place of ridicule? People pay to get scared, not bullied. When did these employees start getting paid to harass people?”
Nicole went on to say, “I will never step foot in Knott’s Berry Farm again. This makes me sad…I truly hope no one else has to live through this painful experience.”
She said that she wrote the letter to alert park officials so that it wouldn’t happen to other people. She also wanted an apology – but she said it never came.
Nicole took her story to OC Weekly and emails of support began flooding in.
“If you need someone to validate that they harass people you can contact me. I am sick and tired of it…I am glad you are putting it out there so that they can put a stop to it,” one person wrote her.
“It is wrong. Both my husband and I were made fun of by the green witch about our weight and the tricksters did too…we take our daughter every year for her birthday and I’m done with the tradition. It’s sad for our family that it was taken from us,” another park guest wrote.
A former Knott’s employee sympathized with Nicole in an email and said she never heard of the cast members humiliating visitors.
“I just want to say I am so, so sorry! It made me feel disgusted and very hurt. I had to write you and apologize. And, I also am a plus size woman! I’m so pissed!” the former employee said.