Megatron offends ‘vile humans’ at Universal Studio’s Beijing theme park

Society & Culture

The new Universal Studios theme park in Beijing has been mobbed with visitors in its first two weeks of operation, but some of them have taken offense at a character actor who plays his role a little too well.

Megatron
Megatron at Universal Studios Beijing. Image from Weibo.

Universal Studios’ Beijing resort, which officially opened on September 20 following several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is reportedly receiving complaints from visitors about an employee who dresses up as Megatron from the classic sci-fi action franchise Transformers. Some customers claim that they felt offended by the way the cast member talked to them, but others say all he did was be true to his character and want to be treated with dignity while on the job.

The employee, who works at the park’s character department, has become something of an internet sensation since videos (in Chinese) of him greeting and interacting with visitors appeared on the Chinese internet in the past few weeks. Playing the character of Megatron, the cruel leader of a villainous group of robots in the Transformers cinematic universe, whose personality can be best described as arrogant, the performer regularly roasts and mocks guests in a way that’s authentic to Megatron.

“Come over. Surrender or be destroyed,” the actor said to a visitor on one occasion. “Why didn’t you say hello to me? You fool!” he joked on another occasion. 

The employee’s chattiness and unique sense of humor quickly made him an attraction at the resort, prompting park-goers to wait in long lines just for a photo with him. But not every encounter he had with visitors was pleasant. 

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In a viral video (in Chinese) that’s been viewed millions of times online, a male guest can be seen putting his middle finger up at the character before striking a pose with him. Shocked by the sudden, unprompted insult, the actor freezes for a second, and then goes on an angry tirade. “Your gesture is so rude. Did your parents not teach you this?” he said. “Go away. I don’t want to take a picture with him.” Even at a moment like this, the performer still shows an incredible commitment to his character. Borrowing lines from Transformers movies, he calls the visitor “a foolish guy” and “a vile human.”

After the incident became a trending topic on Weibo, Universal Resort Beijing responded by saying that it was not the employee’s intention to offend the guest. The park’s management didn’t issue a warning for the visitor, either. Instead, it said that there was no rule prohibiting guests from “making inappropriate gestures” at costumed employees, and that it wouldn’t put the man in the video on a blacklist for his behavior. “If anything similar happens in the future, our staff members will try to stop it in a timely manner,” the resort said.

It’s unclear what caused the outburst from the male guest in the video, but apparently he is not the only one who’s upset about the employee who plays Megatron. According to the Beijing News (in Chinese), some visitors have lodged complaints with the theme park in the past week, claiming that they felt “offended” when Megatron called them stupid. 

The resort has yet to announce how it will handle the reports, but many internet users were outraged by the park’s unwillingness to punish rude tourists and protect its own workers from unwarranted insults. They also came to Megatron’s defense, arguing that the employee did nothing wrong and deserved to be treated with respect from visitors. “From the standpoint of customer service, I understand that the resort wants to create an environment where visitors are seen as always right. But let’s face it, the customer is not always right. The rude ones need to suffer consequences for their behavior,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).