Sesame Street Theme Park Sued After Black Girls Shunned By Costumed Character

Sesame Street Theme Park In US Sued After Black Girls Shunned By Costumed Character

A video showed two girls being ignored by one of the characters at Sesame park.

A family in the United States has sued a Sesame Street-themed amusement park for $25 million over claims of racial discrimination, a report in CNN said. Quinton Burns claims that at least four characters, including Rosita, ignored his five-year-old daughter during a meet-and-greet event at the Philadelphia park because she was black, according to the outlet. The incident took place last month and triggered anger online, prompting more families to come forward with similar experiences. The amusement park had apologised after the incident and explained that the actor inside the Rosita suit simply couldn’t see the girl due to the costume’s limited field of vision.  Sesame Place also promised more training for its employees.

The lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in Philadelphia against SeaWorld Parks, the owner of the Sesame Place, alleging “pervasive and appalling race discrimination”, said CNN.

Another woman, named Jodi Brown, posted a video on her Instagram handle of her daughters undergoing the same experience at the park. The nine-second clip shows the character Rosita giving a high-five to another child and a woman, but gesturing “no” and walking away from the two black girls who had their arms stretched out for a hug and high-five.

“This disgusting person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us! Then when I went to complain about it, they looking at me like I’m crazy,” Ms Brown said in her Instagram post.

“I will never step foot in Sesame Place ever again,” she further said.

The lawsuit, according to CNN, says that performers dressed as Sesame Street characters “Elmo,” “Ernie”, “Telly Monster,” and “Abby Cadabby” refused to engage with the Burns family, “ignoring them and all other Black guests in attendance”.

Speaking to The Guardian last week, Ms Brown’s lawyer said that the woman’s family was appalled and disturbed by the incident and “the injuries propagated to their children”.

The park, meanwhile, issued a second statement on Monday, apologising again and promising that it was “taking action to do better”. But both the statements triggered an angry response on social media.

“Wow this is crazy they want our money but can’t respect us,” an Instagram user said, reacting to Ms Brown’s video. “That’s crazy,” said another.

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