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Why do we reward people for behaving badly?

Why I keep hearing stories like these is beyond me. But we do – and it’s important to know that they DO happen – but also that they are entirely preventable.

Earlier this month, a self-described “industry-leading enthusiast and blogger” live-tweeted horrible, insulting comments about guests at a park-sponsored event. Those posts have since gone viral in amusement and theme park circles, with all the comments criticizing the posts. The author has since claimed, “…they were a joke.”

People online didn’t buy it.

What’s truly scary – is that this is not the first time an incident like this has happened this year. During the spring, another “industry fan group” posted harassing comments towards a theme park’s public relations rep, after they refused to extend additional, special perks to them.

Why do we (as an industry) accept this is as “the new normal?” How does anyone or any organization like this continue to be rewarded for such egregious behavior?

Easy – because we allow them to.

We do it by clicking on their videos, their updates or subscribing to their social feeds. We invite them to media events, despite our misgivings. And we always seem to cave to their requests, even though we know better.

At what point are we – as an amusement and theme park community, both fan and employee – going to step up and say, “No more?”

No more body shaming of our fellow community members.

No more bad mouthing a park just because they didn’t extend perks to you.

No more clandestine filming or photography on rides, only to take said photos and videos and commercialize them without the park knowing.

And no more stealing of each other’s work.

It’s just a shame that those who are the problem in our community will never recognize it. Let’s help them see the light.

If members of our community (both groups and individuals) can’t handle the responsibility of being decent human beings, then it’s time for us as a community to rise up and deny them the privilege of being a part of our group. Stop clicking on their links, unsubscribe from their content.

Simply put, let’s stop supporting and rewarding poor behavior in our community, period. The general public might not affect change – but we can.

Who’s with me?


2 responses

  1. For some of those larger groups or acclaimed “industry experts,” the general public makes up for the majority of their following (especially over social media). In turn, parks pay more attention to (as well as put up with) them due to the advantage of gaining publicity from them. In the end, it’s all about business, and parks need to make money.

    In all fairness, I don’t think there is a single well-established expert or group out there who hasn’t been guilty of committing one or multiple things that would be deemed “unruly” or “questionable.”

    it would be far easier to just say “ignore them” than it would be to “set a better example,” especially when it comes to those who have been in the industry as long as they have to become so deeply rooted. Frankly, I don’t believe in everything that a lot of those popular groups/brands/blogs/media/businesses/etc. do either, but unless someone were to step up and prove to be better than that, I feel most folks would just have to deal with them anyways.

    I do not believe that writing a blog post will put change in a whole industry “community” or create waves that will cause those creating the most trouble to change their ways, but it is respectable and most certainly a good start in shedding light on a situation that is very often glossed-over.

    I just wished that clubs, groups, experts, whatever, would stop fighting and complaining and start having fun with each other in an industry about… well, having fun.

    P.S. This would have been a simple Twitter reply, but I had too much to say in only 140 characters (124 in a reply).

    December 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm