FACT CHECK: Were 108 Disney World Employees Arrested For Child Sex Trafficking?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Twitter claims 108 employees of Walt Disney World were arrested for “adolescent sex trafficking.”

Verdict: Misleading

Florida police recently arrested 108 people in a human trafficking sting operation, four of whom were found to be employees of Disney, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Fact Check:

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Walt Disney World in Florida was the most visited place in the U.S. and employed 77,000 people, the Associated Press reported. Tens of thousands were laid off during the pandemic but many have since returned, according to the resort’s official blog.

A March 18 tweet claims 108 of the resort’s employees were recently arrested for child sex trafficking. “Damn 108 of @WaltDisneyWorld employees were arrested for adolescent sex trafficking WTF is really going on,” reads the tweet.

This claim is misleading. It appears to stem from a recent human trafficking sting conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, dubbed “Operation March Sadness 2.” The operation led to the arrest of 108 people, four of whom were identified as Disney employees, according to an announcement made by the sheriff’s office. Credible news outlets such as CBS News and NBC News reported on the sting and those who were caught up in it.

While 108 people were arrested during the operation, there are no reports indicating all of the persons arrested were employees of Disney. (RELATED: No, Ellen DeGeneres Isn’t Under House Arrest For Child Sex Trafficking)

This is not the first time Disney has been the subject of misinformation. Last year, Check Your Fact debunked a viral claim that alleged Disney CEO Bob Chapek was incarcerated for child abuse.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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