Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — A Halloween attraction at two California amusement parks has been closed amid accusations that it was offensive to the mentally ill.
KABC-TV reports the virtual reality attraction at Knott’s Berry Farm and California Great America was originally called FearVR: 5150. The 5150 refers to California’s state code for an involuntary psychiatric hold. The story line of the attraction focused on a patient in a hospital.
Among those criticizing the ride was pastor Rick Warren, who said it “stereotyped & stigmatized” mental illness. KTVU-TV reports National Alliance on Mental Illness-San Francisco Executive Director Anne Fischer called the attraction “incredibly damaging” for reinforcing a stereotype.
Park owner Cedar Fair says the attraction wasn’t meant to offend and has been pulled from its California parks and one in Canada.