Almost a week after an incident at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, millions of fans of two YouTube performers are calling for a boycott of Disney businesses.
“Unless they issue an apology, or provide video evidence, we will say ‘boycott Disney,'” said James Montanus, a Florida-based YouTube vlogger known to his subscribers as JamesTheFAM.
Last weekend, Montanus and a fellow YouTube performer, Ottawa’s Jason Ethier, went to Disney World for an outing.
Ethier, who has almost 2 million followers on YouTube, is known as ImJayStation online.
“Jason said he’s never been to Disney World — when I found that out, I said, ‘You have to go at least once in your life,'” Montanus said from Orlando, in an exclusive interview with Global News.
WATCH: friend of Ottawa YouTube star calls for Disney boycott until apology given following dispute with security
But instead of having a memorable day at the venue marketed as the “The Most Magical Place On Earth,” Ethier was arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.
Montanus told Global News that Disney security didn’t return Ethier’s bag, containing his camera and cash, after Ethier passed through a metal detector leading into the park.
“He turned around and his bag was gone,” said Montanus, who was recording Ethier coming through the metal detector. The video shows several Disney security guards but no other patrons waiting to come through.
In the moments that followed, Montanus said he and Ethier asked Disney security to check their own video recordings to determine what happened to the bag, which contained some small cameras, some recorded YouTube videos not yet posted, and cash.
The two men say Disney security officers would not check their video.
“To us, that would show what happened. We were confused. We were both nice and calm. His whole life was in that bag,” Montanus said.
After the YouTubers were dissatisfied with the response from Disney security, “we asked for Orange County sheriffs to be called out there,” Montanus said.
He says they believe the security screeners took Ethier’s property.
“I don’t see how anything else was possible — there was no one else who could have taken it,” Monantus said.
But when officers arrived, Ethier was ordered out without discussion.
“They walked up to Jason and said, ‘You need to leave the park immediately,'” Montanus explained. “He said, ‘Okay, I’m going to go.'”
According to Montanus. Ethier then began live-streaming his exit from the park on his cell phone.
“You can see him walking away the entire time,” Montanus said. “He never stopped — they just didn’t like what he had to say.”
The video, released online by Ethier, appears to confirm his account.
WATCH: Friend of Ottawa-based YouTube star describes arrest at Disney
Shortly afterward, Ethier was arrested by an off-duty Orange County police officer who was working that day for Disney World. He was held on the ground, handcuffed, taken into custody and later released on $1,200 bail.
According to an arrest report of the incident obtained by Global News, the police officer acknowledged Ethier was leaving but expressed concern the unarmed man “was either going to become aggressive or not leave the property,” so he was detained.
Ethier, a Canadian citizen, will appear in court in late April.
Global News contacted Walt Disney World several times by telephone and email but received no response.
“It almost feels like a cover-up,” said Montanus, who adds he and Ethier aren’t looking for financial compensation, or to launch a lawsuit — they just want the charges against Ethier dropped, with an apology.
Instead, Montanus — a Floridian by birth — has been told he’ll be charged with trespassing if he returns to a Disney property because he recorded Ethier’s interaction with Disney security and police.
“I am never allowed to set foot on any Disney property in the U.S. or I’ll be arrested,” he said.
Montanus thanked his fans and Ethier’s for their support.
“My fans have a message for all of us: no one is above the law — if you do the people wrong, people are going to demand justice,” he said.
“That’s what our fans are doing, demanding justice.”