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Disney Fans Are Protesting the Removal of 'Wench Auction' From Theme Parks

In the wake of Disney's announcement that it would remove the "wench auction" from its Pirates of the Caribbean rides at Disneyland Paris, Disneyland in California, and the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida by 2018, several petitions have sprung up to protest the removal of the controversial attraction.

The most popular petition—called "We Wants to Keep the Redhead!" and aiming to save the ride's signature girl for sale from removal—has garnered 27,865 supporters so far. "Please sign this petition, so Disney can hear our plea to keep this historical scene," it reads. Others protest that the changes to the ride will alter Walt Disney's vision and betray true Disney fans, and allege the removal of the attraction is an attempt to erase a real history of women being auctioned off to pirates.

Disney has, in the past, listened to the protests of fans. After Disneyland removed handguns from skippers in its Jungle Cruise ride in 2001, fan backlash prompted the park to restore the characters' Smith & Wesson guns three years later.

"At least once a week somebody would get off the boat and say, 'Hey, what happened to the guns?'" a Jungle Cruise skipper told the Los Angeles Times in 2004. When the handguns were restored, she said, audience members had occasionally burst into applause when she shot blanks at the animatronic hippos.