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The Hillsy Corporation: exposed!

by Adam Hills

29th July 2004

What I am about to tell you is unsubstantiated, unconfirmed and unreliable. And yet these stories were all told to me in good faith, by people who had no reason whatsoever to spin me a lie.
Three unrelated people, in three unrelated conversations, have told me tales of a well-known theme park and their attitude towards disabled people and those with life-threatening illnesses. And here they are.

Story no.1
Fiona worked for a media outlet associated with the aforementioned theme park. Let's call it (for no particular reason) Hillsy Online. She thought it would be a great idea for the main character of Hillsy Online - let's call him Andy Aardvark - to visit a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Fiona took her proposal to her boss, explaining that it would not only cheer up the children, but also provide great publicity for Hillsy Online, especially when photographs of the visit were published in a national newspaper. Fiona's boss initially agreed, but after consulting with the head of publicity for Hillsy Online, he quickly changed his mind.

"Unfortunately," he told Fiona, "Andy Aardvark isn't supposed to be photographed with terminally ill children."

When asked why this was the case, the boss replied, "Because we like to present the image that Andy can make children's dreams come true. If Andy is seen with terminally ill children, it will prove that he can't actually make this happen."

Story no.2
Errol worked for a television station in Haiti. He had arranged for a group of disabled children and those with life-threatening illnesses to go on a trip to Hillsyville, the famous theme park, and wanted to film the whole experience to show on TV when they got back to Haiti.

He spoke to the people in charge of Hillsyville's publicity, who informed him that they don't allow outside filming in the park. Off the record, however, they told him that the real reason he couldn't film the kids is that official policy does not allow the filming of disabled children, or those with a life-threatening illness, inside the Hillsyville park.

For a similar reason to that given to Fiona, it was explained to Errol that Hillsyville was supposed to be the perfect place, where everyone is always healthy and happy, and that images of disabled people or those with a life-threatening illness in the park would tarnish that image.

All this came from a park that prides itself on being wheelchair accessible, employing those with disabilities, and being the chosen venue for those wanting one last wish in life.

Story no.3
Chauncey once worked as a character inside one of the Hillsyville parks. He and the other characters were all told (off the record, of course) that they were not supposed to approach a disabled person or a person with a life-threatening illness if they requested a photograph, even if the picture was for personal use.

Furthermore, Chauncey was informed that if a group of disabled people or those with a life-threatening illness came towards him while in character, he would be ushered away by security guards before the people even came close. This conjures a very amusing image of a dozen wheelchair-using visitors chasing a bedraggled Aardvark around a theme park, like a Salvador Dali-directed episode of The Benny Hill Show.

I have told my stories to more than one person, and more than one of those people has responded with the phrase, "Yes, I've heard that goes on there". Or, "Well, I once worked for The Hillsy Corporation, and you should hear my story".

So my question is this: does anyone else have a similar story? More to the point, does anyone have physical proof of this practise? If someone, somewhere has something in writing, a recorded conversation, or even material evidence of this practise within The Hillsy Corporation, then it's high time we outed them as being the callous, insensitive and anti-disability/life-threatening illness corporate dementors that they seem to be.

Oh, and in case there are any lawyers from The Hillsy Corporation reading this article, I should point out that the stories told to me were unsubstantiated, unconfirmed and - if proven true - unforgivable.

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