A bronze statue of Bill Cosby is being removed from the Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Tuesday.
The statue was removed after the park closed Tuesday night according to a Disney spokeswoman. She would not allow her name to be used and would not offer any further comments.
The statue was located at Disney’s Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza and was removed after court documents revealed that Cosby testified in 2005 that he had the intent of giving his Quaalude prescriptions to women he wanted to have sex with.
Multiple women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. In the past year, a petition was started online to remove the statue and it gathered nearly 300 signatures.
Wilene Pierre, a Tallahassee resident who grew up in central Florida, , explained the effect that the statue had on her childhood.
“I grew up going to Disney World and I love Bill Cosby. I used to go to Disney and take pictures with the statue. I still have those pictures at my mother’s house,” said Pierre. “It’s sad to see such a negative light being put on someone who made so many people smile.”
Disney World is known for family-friendly entertainment and employees at Walt Disney World can see the effects that the statue being taken down will have on tourist.
Disney employee Charite Salomon understands both sides of the situation.
“The things that he has been accused of are definitely wrong but for a man who has never been charged with a crime, it’s sad,” said Salomon. “So many people visit the park and are interested in visiting the Hall of Fame plaza to see different iconic faces like Bill Cosby. He’s no longer there so that is one less piece of joy that people will have during their Disney experience.”
Tallahassee residents and people all around the world will not get to see the statue during their vacations.
Yolaine Fonrose, also a Walt Disney World employee. can see how the statue can hurt certain visitors of the park.
“Disney is a place that has people from all over the world come and visit. It would be such a bad experience for the family member of one of the women that accused him of what he did see him be put on a pedestal during their visit,” said Fonrose.
Cosby has not commented on the documents. The documents were concealed for a decade until Monday after the Associated Press requested for the files to be released after an attempt to get more information on the case.
He has never been charged with a crime and has denied sexual assault allegations multiple times.