An actor who worked at the “Walking Dead” attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood alleges that visitors repeatedly attacked and groped cast members, and that the theme park did little or nothing to stop it.
Kurt Logan filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that he was repeatedly punched by theme park guests. He also said numerous female co-workers were groped and sexually assaulted.
The attraction was based on the popular AMC show. Guests walked through a post-apocalyptic environment, with dark and narrow corridors, where actors portraying zombies would startle them. The suit contends that Universal Studios encouraged the assaults in its marketing materials, which told visitors to “prepare to fight for survival.”
“Universal actually incites its guests to fight the employees,” the lawsuit states.
A Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson declined to respond to the specific allegations.
“We don’t comment on pending litigation, however, the safety and security of our employees and guests is always our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
The “Walking Dead” attraction opened in 2016, and it closed last month, shortly before the entire park was shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The suit notes that alcohol is served at the park, and that guests would often be drunk. Logan alleges that a guest punched him in the face in July 2019. In August 2019, he says another guest punched him several times, and was ultimately prosecuted. In a third incident, Logan alleges a guest punched him in the stomach in January. When he reported the assault to his supervisor, he was told to take a short break and then go back to work, the suit states.
The suit states that several female cast members reported numerous incidents when guests would grope their breasts or buttocks. On one occasion, actor Lisa Molenda was in a cage, and a guest reached in and grabbed her breast. She said she reported the incident to her manager, who told her there were things she “could have done to better protect herself,” according to the suit.
Another cast member — Josiah Steele — was hospitalized after a guest punched him in the face in July 2019, knocking him to the ground, according to the suit. Steele complained to human resources, and wanted to pursue prosecution, but was told that “most performers don’t press charges,” the suit states.
Steele had complained two years ago about the situation, and had asked for changes to protect the employees, the suit states.