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TikToker Jessica Tremmel (@tremainetok) claimed in a video that “Disney has a big rule against performers speaking other languages besides English.” Tremmel formerly played Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother from Cinderella, at Disney and did not specify when she stopped working for the company.
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But Tremmel — proficient in Spanish, conversational in French and basic ASL — said she loved entertaining tourists from other countries in their native language.
“If I had been caught, that is a big reprimand and potentially getting fired,” she claimed. “But I loved just going up to tables where people didn’t speak English and surprising them with the fact that I spoke their language. With French, it was mostly French Canadians, and there are a ton of Spanish speakers that visit us.”
“Elena is approved to be bilingual and to speak both languages,” Tremmel explained. “When they were first casting Elena, it was actually a requirement to be bilingual.”
Many commenters questioned the rule, which prompted another TikToker to explain that allegedly, the rule is because if one character speaks French, Spanish and ASL, then all versions of that character have to speak French, Spanish and ASL, as to not break the illusion. As Tremmel explained in another video, multiple actors play the same character throughout one given day.
“It has to do with character integrity,” Tremmel said in response. “One thing to keep in mind: In all non-American Disney parks, characters can speak different languages.”
Commenters were stunned by the allegations.
“Why is that a rule?” someone asked.
“That makes me mad. If they want everyone to enjoy the magic, why can’t y’all communicate?” one person wrote.
“That’s very disappointing that Disney would do that,” another added. “It seems like the day would be more magical if you spoke their language.”
The Disney World site states that “for guests with limited English fluency, complimentary devices are available to translate.”
In The Know has reached out to Disney for comment.
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