According to a Maryland family’s $25 million lawsuit, various costumed characters disregarded their five-year-old black daughter and other black attendees at a Sesame Street theme park in Maryland. Located in Pennsylvania’s Eastern District, the claim was filed on behalf of a class of people.
It alleges that four amusement park employees disguised as various Sesame Street characters snubbed Quinton Burns, his daughter, and other Black attendees at a meet-and-greet session on June 18th. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the company that owns Sesame Place Philadelphia, is being sued for $25 million in damages. This lawsuit also seeks to enforce cultural sensitivity lessons and courses on discriminatory history for visitors to the park, according to NBC.
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Sesame Place Philadelphia is being sued for allegedly failing to notice two young African-American girls who appeared to be neglected by a staffer dressed as Rosita, the Sesame Street character.
During the nine-second video, which has been widely circulated, the employee gave high-fives to a white toddler and a woman but refused to give a high-five to the Black girls who had their arms outstretched. Video obtained by NBC Philadelphia shows a staffer allegedly embracing another white child after ignoring the two children. Rosita’s performance at the amusement park was widely condemned after a video of her was posted online, with many asking for her firing and a boycott.
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“Inclusion and equality in all forms” are what Sesame Place and its staff stand for in their opening statement. “The Rosita performer did not purposely neglect the girls and is upset by the misunderstanding,” the statement added, adding that the outfits made it impossible for lower-level personnel to see. In a second statement, the park apologized once more and promised to “take action to do better,” including training for its personnel on issues of diversity and inclusion.
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