Diminutive factory workers for the Wonka confectionary brand have spoken out about dangerous working conditions and cruel treatment at the hands of Willy Wonka in the wake of the sweet maker’s death. The confectioner was already under investigation for a series of disappearances of children in the local area, amid allegations of workers being forced to inflict bizarre punishments on young visitors as their smiling master, known to workers as ‘The Candyman’, looked on.
‘The smiling demeanour was just a front’, one worker told us. ‘Away from the cameras it was a different story; we were restricted from leaving the factory and made to sing and dance in a patronising mockery of our indigenous culture. He’d ply us with candies but too late we realised they were treated to stunt our growth and keep us in our place.’
‘Groups of children were occasionally brought in for factory ‘tours’, and we would be forced to torture them for his amusement, forcing them up pipes, attacking them with specially-trained squirrels, and shrinking them to a tiny size. He saw them as an inexhaustible supply of guinea pigs for his untested products. Half of them were never seen again, and survivors kept silent by means of an enormous contract.’
Wonka was on the ‘radar’ of the authorities and once questioned by operatives from Operation Gumdrop, a group charged with investigating historic allegations of abuse by chocolatiers, following the arrest of Vulgaria’s Childcatcher, who was known to visit sweet factories to stock up on supplies of lollipops, but which has also led to arrests of rival confectioners Slugworth, Fickelgruber and Prodnose.
Today, many of the factory’s former workers are unable to talk about their experiences except through the form of jaunty rhyming couplets. One such nameless victim told us:
‘When he took us in we all thought him our savoir
But his sugar-coated words soon turned a different flavour
His candy delights make every boy and girl smile
When in truth, ritual humiliation was more his style
Our days were filled with hardship and spite
Being forced to sing and dance with no respite
His manner of rule was cruel and sadistic
With the restriction of basic human liberties its chief characteristic.
Now at last we’re no longer his slave
We’ll dance upon his candy grave.’