A new video apparently captures the moment a Sesame Street staffer ignored a five-year-old black child, for which her dad is suing for $25 million.
During a meet-and-greet on June 18, four staff who were costumed as Sesame Street characters allegedly snubbed Quinton Burns’ daughter Kennedi and other black customers.
The opening scene of the video features costumed figures dancing in a parade as the Telly Monster-costumed employee approaches to wave and shake hands with numerous young people.
Kennedi, one of the children in the group, attempted to make eye contact with the figure before he turned to wave to the other onlookers and went away. Kennedi then turns to face her dad while sporting a severe frown.
The same party was greeted a short while later by an employee disguised as Ernie, who similarly stops short of shaking hands with Kennedi.
According to Sesame Place, the staff in these situations simply couldn’t see everyone owing to the costume’s restricted range of view, and the claimed snub was not done on purpose.
‘Pervasive and terrible race discrimination’ is the subject of the lawsuit, which was brought against SeaWorld Parks, the Sesame Place’s owner, in a federal court in Philadelphia.
It follows the release of a viral video in which Rosita is seen allegedly shunning two other black girls from New York during a parade in a park outside of Philadelphia.
In a statement, Sesame Place expressed regret for the situation and clarified that the actor wearing the Rosita costume was simply unable to see their daughter owing to the restricted range of vision of the outfit.
More families came out with comparable stories as a result of the uproar.
The complaint claims that “many similarly situated white patrons” were easily approached by SeaWorld’s entertainers.
Malcolm Ruff, one of the family’s attorneys, demanded openness from SeaWorld and compensation for the Burns family during a news conference on Wednesday.
Ruff claimed that despite being surrounded by other young white children who could communicate, exchange hugs, and high fives, “she was neglected.”
At the age of 5, Kennedi was made to endure prejudice. They will not remain silent and for this to go on because it is intolerable, Ruff said.
A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed by a Baltimore family against Sesame Place, alleging racial discrimination from the theme park. Quinton Burns said he took his daughter to the amusement park on Father's Day and during a parade of characters, he claims she was ignored. https://7ny.tv/3cR1xrrPosted by ABC7NY on Thursday, 28 July 2022
In a statement to Eyewitness News in response to the complaint, Sesame Place said that they will investigate the lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Burns. They look forward to responding to such assertion through the recognized legal procedure. They pledge to provide every visitor with a welcoming, fair, and enjoyable experience.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania received the complaint.
After a video of a costumed figure waving off two six-year-old black children during a parade went viral, members of the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly requested a meeting with management at a Sesame Street theme park.
The mom of one of the children, Jodi Brown, shared the nine-second video footage showing Rosita from Sesame Place giving a white child and lady a high-five last weekend. Rosita then gestures “no” and walks away from the two black girls who had their arms out for hugs.
According to reporter Chad Pergram, Black Caucus members want to meet with the theme park’s general manager, Cathy Valeriano, to “examine the adjustments, plans of action, and training the park wants to undertake.”
The caucus declared that over the last week, they’ve witnessed several egregious instances of racism emanating from the park, including the viral video in which two adorable little black girls were clearly ignored by a figure they admired while white kids were hugged.”
Despite the fact that such events are not depicted in the film, Brown has alleged that Rosita embraced a white youngster right away after ignoring her daughter and niece.
Brown spoke on Saturday and stated that she did not accept the park’s apology, Sesame Place, which is located outside of Philadelphia.
Brown declared, ‘I don’t believe it was real; I feel they were just making claims because of how popular the video has become.”
B’Ivory Lamarr, Brown’s lawyer, made an appearance with the mom and reaffirmed his threat to file a lawsuit against the theme park and seek the termination of the unnamed employee wearing the Rosita costume.
Theme park authorities described the now-viral incident as a ‘misunderstanding,’ adding that the mascot’s poor vision from the bulky mask of the outfit prevented it from recognizing the females.
The statement added that their brand, their park, and their workers stand for inclusion and equality in all forms. That’s what Sesame Place is all about, and they don’t accept any actions in their parks that aren’t in line with that commitment.
They also are, and always have been, dedicated to ensuring that every family and every kid has the best experience at their parks, and they are quite saddened when that does not happen, the statement said.
The statement also said that they apologized to the family and asked them back for a unique meet-and-greet chance with their characters.
The unnamed actress who played Rosita, according to the park, did not purposely neglect the girls and is heartbroken by the misunderstanding, the actor claimed.
According to the statement, Rosita was indicating “no” to another visitor when they asked to hold their kid for a photo, which was “not authorized.”
The park said that the mascot’s poor vision from the bulky mask of the costume, which can “sometimes make it hard to see at lower levels,” likely prevented him from spotting the girls, and that performers sometimes “skip hug requests from customers.”
The statement added that they sincerely regret not providing these visitors with the experience they anticipated and pledge to make every effort to restore their and other guests’ visits and support.