An original version of this article appeared in Hong Kong Free Press on August 4, 2015:
Netizens are devastated by a shopping mall’s decision to deface “minion” figures after an exhibition in Hong Kong.
A photo, which shows several of the yellow characters sprayed with black paint at Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza, was posted by a Facebook user on Sunday night. The user said the photo was taken after the promotional exhibition had ended, adding that “reality was cruel”. The snap has since been widely circulated on social media.
TVMost, a Hong Kong-based satire website, asked New Town Plaza about its decision to deface the 3D figures. A spokesperson for the mall replied that contractors had to “follow specific procedures when removing the exhibits” due to copyright issues. It was unable to donate the exhibits to other organisations due to contractual issues, the spokesperson said.
Nevertheless, many internet users were saddened by the news.
A netizen said the scene reminded him of computer-animated comedy movie Toy Story, adding that organisers should donate the figures to orphanages. Another said discarding the minion figures was “very wasteful”.
Others defended the shopping mall’s lack of power in deciding on how to dispose of the exhibits. One netizen said it was the standard practice of discarding the figures.
The minions exhibition was held from July 8 to August 2, according to New Town Plaza. A total of 39 minion figures were on display.