womanHer daughter and niece ignored the park’s explanation of the incident, saying it wasn’t just a misunderstanding.
The Philadelphia-area theme park, which is based on the popular children’s TV show “Sesame Street,” came under fire after Judy Brown shared a video of an actress dressed as Rosita kicking out her daughter and niece, who are both black, during the show.
Brown’s video, which went viral on Instagram, shows the performer apparently saying “no” to the girls after a high-profile courtship and interactions with several other guests.
Brown told CBS News that when the character moved away from the children, she immediately stopped recording the video and requested a moderator.
She said that the girls wanted to know what they had done to justify the dismissal from the performer. “I had to explain to them, ‘You didn’t do anything,'” she said. There is nothing wrong. I’ll talk to a manager and find out why this happened,” she said, adding that the girls were “sad” and. Heart broken.”
Sesame Place Tuesday said in a statement that the park symbolizes “inclusivity and equality in all its forms,” and that it does not tolerate any behavior in parks that conflicts with that commitment.
“In connection with yesterday’s incident, the costumes worn by our performers sometimes make it difficult to see at lower levels and sometimes the performers miss hug requests from our guests,” the statement posted to Instagram on Monday read.
Sesame Place said the performer did not send a “no” signal to the two young girls, but said it was a response to someone else in the crowd who repeatedly asked the performer to hold their child for a photo, which is not allowed. “Rosetta’s character did not intentionally ignore the girls and was devastated by the misunderstanding,” the statement said.
The park said it had spoken to the family, apologized and invited them back to meet the characters.
However, Brown told CBS News that’s not what happened. “No, there was no one standing next to me to ask them to hold a baby or take a picture,” she said.
Since Brown’s video has received widespread attention, videos showing similar situations where the Sesame Place character appears to ignore children have been shared by other black parents.
Brown’s attorney, Beaufory Lamar, told CBS News they had been in contact with the park, and said that “two things ‘must happen’ to resolve the incident, the first being to provide a formal apology that we think is real and valid. Real. Honest. Sincere.”
“We believe Sesame Bliss made a serious mistake in his first statement,” he said. “We believe their assertions are completely false and we believe we have evidence to refute that.”
Lamar also said that the person wearing the uniform should be shot. “We believe there is no room for racism in any amusement park,” he said.
He also wants Sesame Place to take accountability and responsibility for any psychological distress families face in their park.
Lamar said he believes there is a pattern to this behavior in the park, adding that 20 to 30 families have been contacted with similar allegations.
“I will say that the company has reached out, and we are now in dialogue to try to find an amicable solution regarding this issue,” Lamar said.
In a statement to CBS News, Thursday, Sesame Place said: “We sincerely and sincerely apologize to the Brown family for what they lived through. To be very clear, what the two girls went through and what the family lived through is unacceptable. It just happened in our garden, with Our team, we own it. And it’s our responsibility to make this better for the kids and the family and to be better for all families.”
The park said it was still in contact with Brown and Lamar and confirmed it was ready to meet with the family and apologize to them in person.
“We are committed to learning everything we can from this situation to make meaningful change. We want every child who comes into our park to feel included, watched and inspired,” the park said, adding that it “makes training mandatory for all of our employees so we can better get to know and understand and to provide a comprehensive, equitable and entertaining experience for all our guests.”
“We take this very seriously; we are very saddened by what these young girls and this family have witnessed in our garden,” Sesame Place said.
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the TV show “Sesame Street”, said in a statement that what the children experienced is unacceptable and has reached out to the park, which is a licensed partner. The theme park is owned by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.