just read this on the CBC canada new site. Dwarfs are disney intellectual property?
Tue, 03 May 2005 10:42:41 EDT
HALIFAX, CANADA - Walt Disney Co. is not amused that a Halifax smoke shop that sells drug paraphernalia decided to adorn its building with a mural showing Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy and their fellow dwarfs.
Sweet Leaf Smoke Shop owner Kenny Banks had the mural painted last summer, featuring the famous Disney cartoon characters using a joint and a bong, among other drug equipment.
The Halifax Regional Municipality intervened this spring after a neighbour complained that the advertising wasn’t appropriate, and Banks was ordered to remove the marijuana references by May 1.
The dwarfs stayed in place, however – until Walt Disney Co. heard about the mural recently.
In a letter last week, the company demanded that the entire painting be covered up because the characters are Disney’s intellectual property.
So Banks had the dwarfs covered with whitewash.
In the end, though, he said he wasn’t too upset. He’s out $1,800 for the mural, but he has received the kind of publicity money cannot buy.
“Through TV, newspapers – sure it worked out OK,” he said. “But I still like the mural. So do a lot of people in the neighbourhood.”
Some residents interviewed by reporters said the mural added colour to the area.
Others were offended by it, especially parents.
“A lot of people on the street have kids and they’re starting to get to the age where they are asking, ‘What is that they’re holding?’” said parent Ethan Neville.
“Try to explain that to your eight-year old.”
Banks plans to replace the image with something slightly less controversial.