Sesame Place Theme Park Defends Rosita Performer Who Appeared to Ignore Black Girls in Crowd
“This disgusting person blatantly told our kids ‘no’ then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us!" one of the girls' moms wrote on social media. Sesame Place says it was a misunderstanding, apologized to the families and invited them back.
A video showing Rosita, a beloved Sesame Street character, allegedly ignoring two little Black girls who reached out to the character is causing uproar across America.
The incident happened during a parade at the Sesame Place theme park near Philadelphia.
The mother of one of the girls was outraged, writing, “This disgusting person blatantly told our kids ‘no’ then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us!”
Her post set off a firestorm on social media.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid says she received videos of similar incidents, including one that appeared to show Rosita breezing by another Black child.
“This whole ‘ignoring black children’ thing is a pattern with the Rosita character,” Reid wrote.
The lawyer who represents the little girls said it was “absolutely” an intentional snub.
“We don't want to look to race as the justification for everything that goes wrong in our country. However, that's the only logical deduction that we can make from it,” he said.
Sesame Place claims it was an innocent misunderstanding and that the performer inside the Rosita costume is devastated by the controversy.
Officials say the gesture that Rosita can be seen making in the video was her actually turning down another mom who wanted her to pick up her infant, which is not permitted.
“The costumes sometimes make it hard to see at lower levels,” Sesame Place said in a statement.
The theme park says they know what happened “is not ok” and it is “taking actions to do better.” It also announced they are giving extra training to performers “to better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience.” They say they apologized to the families and invited them back to meet all the characters.
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