and I do mean poor. The Orlando Sentinal continues coverage of the Tigger Molestation sham, I mean trial, with a story on Chartrand’s request to return to work. But the real story is buried in the middle of the article:
Chartrand makes between $6.35 and $6.85 an hour, and, like most characters, had been working about 40 hours each week. At that rate, he could recoup between $4,500 and $5,000 in back pay.
I knew the characters were poorly paid, but that is extreme. It’s not even close to a living wage for the Orlando area. The median household income in Orlando is $35,732 with per capital earning of $21,216 [ figures from 2000 census: source ]. So a full time tigger earns around $14,111. That’s below the national poverty level for a family of 3 or more [ source ].
Chartrand is asking to go back as a character greeter, which means he has the possibility of becoming a lead and earning slightly more. But face it folks. Anyone who works at the themeparks as a walk around character is doing it for the love of the job. Why else would they put on a heavy, confining, character costume and parade around in 90 degree weather and 90 degree humidity? It’s obviously not for the money.
So please keep that in mind next time you’re at a park and you see a walk around. Give them the respect they deserve.