OC Register article on FearVR counter-petition

For your perusal, here is an excerpt from an article in the Orange County Register, covering the counter-petition created by Jennifer Ailey with the aim of reinstating FearVR at the Knotts Berry Farm Halloween Haunt. After opening weekend, FearVR was pulled because of concerns by mental health advocates that the attraction stigmatized people with mental illness. (We covered the topic here.)

The organizer, Jennifer Ailey, 30, of Inglewood, said she plans to submit the petition to Cedar Fair President Matt Ouimet and Knott’s Vice President and General Manager Jon Storbeck.

“Fear VR is meant to be an attraction that takes the terror and horror of traditional mazes one step further,” Ailey writes in the petition. “It is completely unfair and unrealistic that a multi-billion dollar company like Knott's Berry Farm and their parent company, Cedar Fair, should be forced to shut down an attraction based on the words of people who had not even experienced the attraction.

“Closing the attraction is not going to help advocate the increase of knowledge on the subject either,” she writes. “People are still going to be afraid of what they do not understand in regards to mental illness.”

Read the rest here.

At this point, it seems unlikely that FearVR will be back this year. In an email update to people who signed the petition, Ailey expresses hope that the petition will convince Knotts Scary Farm to resurrect the attraction next year.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.