Disney is facing backlash for suing small car wash in Chile

The Walt Disney Company is once again facing backlash — this time for taking aim at a small Chilean car wash.

The House of Mouse recently filed a lawsuit against a “Star Wars” themed car wash located on the outskirts of Santiago, which uses the classic space drama’s font and themed decor.

Photos and videos posted online from Star Wash even show workers dressed up as characters, with Chewbacca wiping down windshields, Boba Fett and Cassian Andor wielding hoses and Darth Vader appearing to use the force to summon washcloths.

For its take on the traditional car wash, Star Wash has amassed a following of over 26,000 people worldwide on Instagram.

But when owner Matias Jara tried to register the name Star Wash with the Chilean patent authority, Lucasfilm — the “Star Wars” production company that Disney bought for $4 billion back in 2012 — filed a lawsuit against it.

The company alleges the name Star Wash is too similar to that of the space saga, potentially leading customers to associate the car wash with the franchise.

Disney has sued a family-owned “Star Wars” themed car wash in Chile. Instagram/starwashchile

“They say our name ‘Star Wash’ leads to confusion as someone can come with the intention to buy a movie, a helmet or a figure they sell,” Jara said.

“This is not the case. We have a car wash named ‘Star Wash’ as it’s a stellar wash. 

“We don’t make movies or sell their products or anything like that.”

Jara claims the company did not seem to have any issues with the attendants who are dressed up as the characters, and said it was his daughter who came up with the name after visiting one of the theme parks in the United States.

He is now trying to fight back against the company, suggesting that the two names are different enough, and arguing that Lucasfilm’s copyright does not extend to car washes — though it does include merchandise and toys.

Photos and videos posted online show employees dressed up as characters. Instagram/starwashchile

Jara is now trying to ramp up support for his business, posting a video of Darth Vader visiting the car wash with the caption: “In a galaxy plagued with conflicts, a legal battle of epic proportions emerges.

“At the epicenter of this war, “Star Wash”, a modest family business, is caught in a confrontation with the imposing Lucasfilm Empire,” it says.

“We will stand strong, the force is with us.”

Last month, the car wash even hired a Pedro Pascal impersonator to raise awareness of their fight against Disney at a local mall.

“Of course this lawsuit is affecting us,” Jara said. “We’re a small business and we’re spending on things we hadn’t budgeted for.”

As news of the lawsuit spread online, several people suggested the car wash was running a better company. X/Trevor_Drake_
Others hit out at the House of Mouse for attacking a small, family-owned business. X/AussieBro4Chan

As news of Disney’s latest legal venture spread, many on social media hit out at the company.

“Since 1977, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomena,” one X user wrote, claiming it was just a “matter of time before things like this car wash happened. 

“Disney, the multi-BILLION dollar company is going after a random South American car wash that might just be barely scraping a profit.”

“Praying for Star Wash to win that s—” another user posted.

Others suggested the car wash was running a better company, after the House of Mouse lost at least $1 billion following a disastrous year at the box office.

Disney+ also lost $387 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, while its theme parks continue to see fewer visitors as prices rise.

A German illustrator suggested it “seems this Star Wash [is making] more money” after it lost at least $1 billion in the box office last year. X/MichelVan4

“Star Wash doing more for the franchise than Disney tbh,” an X user commented.

In an effort to bring the company back, CEO Bob Iger said Disney will now focus on quality over quantity, releasing fewer shows and movies of a higher standard.

“We’re all rolling up our sleeves, including myself, to do just that,” Iger said in a November earnings call, according to Newsweek.

“We have absolutely great assets [and] great stories to tell.”

The Post has reached out to the Walt Disney Company for comment.

With Post wires.


Written by SaleemBaloch

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