An internal investigation at Silver Dollar City found no evidence to support a viral social media post claiming a guest was denied entry over a tote bag with a pro-LGBTQ+ rights message.
The allegation against the Branson, Missouri theme park was originally reported Wednesday in a post shared by transgender rights activist and blogger Erin Reed.
Silver Dollar City, a very popular amusement park in Missouri, has reportedly refused to admit a person to the park for carrying a tote with rainbow colored wording.
They are scared of literal rainbows. pic.twitter.com/7xSogbqQpj
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) June 7, 2023
Silver Dollar City at first responded by telling Theme Park Tribune that, “The experience described by this guest does not reflect our company’s values, screening process, or team member training. We’re actively attempting to learn more about this situation including contacting this guest.”
On Thursday, the park released another statement to Theme Park Tribune indicating that its own investigation found the incident did not happen.
Here’s the full statement from Silver Dollar City:
At Silver Dollar City, it’s important to us that all team members and guests feel welcomed, valued, and loved when visiting our park. It’s expected that everyone is treated with kindness and respect.
Upon learning of the social media post describing an interaction counter to these values, we immediately reviewed gate entry security footage, conducted interviews with team members on duty the day described, and attempted to identify and contact the guests referred to in the post, which the user has since unpublished.
Yesterday evening, we located security recordings of these individuals inside the park on June 6, 2023, holding the bag described in the social media post, right side out, as they walked through various attractions. Security personnel confirms that these individuals were asked to cover up t-shirts reading “Best P—- Ever,” which violates our posted dress code policy. They complied and continued into the park. At no time were these individuals instructed to leave the premises or place the bag inside-out.
Battles over LGTBQ+ rights have still into the theme park world in recent years, most notably with Disney’s public condemnation of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. Theme parks, like other corporations, have shown support during Pride Month with special events at Six Flags parks and special merchandise sold at Universal and Disney.
Universal Orlando is donating 100 percent of its profits from its “Love is Universal” merchandise to three Florida nonprofits that support the LGBTQ+ community. Universal’s parent company, Comcast, donated $28,000 to the sponsors of the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation before the bill was passed in 2022, and unlike Disney, has never spoken out against the law.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated and its headline changed following a new statement from Silver Dollar City saying the original allegations are not supported by its internal investigation.