“Crew members shared other precautionary measures taken by RWS, such as a three-step rule where the scare crew are encouraged to take only three steps out of their hiding areas to scare guests” (Halloween Performers ‘Roughhoused’ By Visitors, Miss Emilia Tan).
The allegations of rough treatment experienced by performers for the annual Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Singapore – of “been pushed around and groped by guests” (TODAY, Oct. 17), for instance – have been met by poor responses from the management. It may be convenient to brush the concerns aside as mere anecdotes or isolated incidents, or remain somewhat nonchalant because consumer demand has not been affected, yet Resorts World Sentosa could provide more information.
A spokesperson explains that there are “measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both our guests and performers”, but the reply falls short on the details.
What are these measures? How are the no-contact and three-step rules enforced? Will guests be briefed about safety lines and distances, and in what manner? Besides general queries on its business operations, Resorts World Sentosa could be pressed for precise figures on the aforementioned, to determine the frequency of abuses (or not) on its employees. How many incident reports do performers make, and where are they most prone to physical contact? How many guests have been warned or thrown out of the theme park, and on what grounds? More importantly, how do the numbers compare across the years? Notwithstanding employees – for fear of reprisals – who might be apprehensive to report their experiences, details on the reports and guests will provide a much clearer picture.
Observers who argue that performers should (learn to) take such harassment in their stride – by virtue of the supposed line of work at Halloween Horror Nights – are missing the point. Same goes for those who try to draw conclusions based on the nationalities or gender of the perpetrators. The bottomline is that everyone has the right to a safe workplace, and the right to seek effective redress should something untoward happen. As it stands Resorts World Sentosa has not done enough in this regard.
The management might reckon that its precautions and remedies are sufficient, especially when it has to ascertain the veracity of claims and deal with so many visitors, even though a commitment to the well-being and safety of its employees should go beyond rhetorics. Without elaboration of the “methods” the spokesperson of Resorts World Sentosa speaks of, and evidence of how situations have changed over the years, many will remain unconvinced.