Screenshot via YouTube/wdwmagic

Time, as they say, makes fools of us all. Others might say that so too does an animatronic facsimile of the 45th President of the United States.

On Wednesday, actor and comedian Jay Malsky shared a video of his recent visit to Walt Disney World in Florida, where he attended the theme park’s “Hall of Presidents” attraction, featuring a newly-installed robot Donald Trump.

Reasoning that he’d “never get this close in real life probs” in a tweet with the video, Malsky took the opportunity to “protest” robo-Trump’s pre-recorded speech with a prolonged “lock him up” chant, much to the chagrin of his fellow park-goers.

First of all, kudos to that guy for keeping the chant going for as long as he did; that shit seemed exhausting. Nevertheless, after watching this video, I’m left with a few lingering questions:

  • What would have happened if Malsky had rushed the stage and taken a swing at Robo-Trump? Are the bots programmed to defend themselves? Can they fight back?
  • Is shouting at an unfeeling robot more or less satisfying than shouting at its unfeeling narcissistic namesake?
  • What does the Walt Disney Corporation do with rabble rousers who dare defile the sanctity of the “happiest place on Earth”?
  • Is one man’s protest against a robot built to grind inexorably on regardless of circumstance a good metaphor for this cursed year?
  • Will any of us ever again know joy?

I’ve reached out to both the Walt Disney Corporation and Malsky for comment on the incident and will update this post if and when they respond.

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Update, 5:30—In an email to Splinter, Malsky explained the story behind his robo-protest:

Donald Trump is a mad man with fascist tendancies who has persuaded millions of middle-class Americans to vote against their own interests. So I was worried I’d be put on some sort of list (if I’m not already) and probably incur the wrath of ignorant sheeple. But I figured a bunch of them would be at this ride and wanted to show their kids what a protest looks like before Trump murders democracy. If people are upset that I disrupted their family vacation, I hope they’ll think about the thousands children being taken away from their parents because of Trump’s racist immigration policies, or the parents of the hundreds of trans people murdered each year by transphobic and homophobic people, or the negative impacts of the tax bill on poor and middle-income Americans. I encourage anyone outraged that I interrupted a ride at Disney to check their privelege. 

Malsky added that the security team at Disney world was “amazing” and “could not have been more professional and courteous to me once they made sure I wasn’t a legitimate threat to anyone.”