Disney World under fire for not allowing rapper's autistic cousin in without mask
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Rapper Joey Bada$$ loaded up 30 family members for a trip to Disney World Saturday, but he said the day was ruined when the theme park turned away his autistic cousin because he wasn't wearing a mask.
"You guys just turned away an autistic child from Disney World," the recent Grammy-nominee said in a confrontation with Disney World staff in a video posted to his Instagram account. "Nothing to say? Maybe one day when you have kids you’ll understand."
The rapper explained that his autistic cousin can't tolerate masks.
"The child thinks the mask is suffocating, the child also has no idea why it is even a requirement," he wrote in a caption.
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Disney World currently requires face masks for everyone aged two and older. The only carveouts are for when someone is "actively eating or drinking," and there is nothing in the policy about people with disabilities.
Disney World did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
Wearing a mask is "not possible" for some kids with autism, according to Autism Speaks, the largest autism awareness nonprofit in the United States.
"Though mask-wearing is a recommendation, and in many areas a requirement, to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to recognize the specific needs and challenges of members of the autism community who may be impacted by significant sensory sensitivities," the organization writes.
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It's not the first mask dispute at the theme park since it reopened last June following a temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A man was arrested last month after he allegedly spit on a Disney security officer who asked him to put on his face mask, WFTV reports.
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