Ablack family based in Baltimore, United States has filed a $25 million class action lawsuit for racial discrimination against Sesame Place, an amusement park in Philadelphia inspired by the popular Sesame Street show.
Reportedly, Jodi Brown along with her family and friends was visiting the amusement park when during a meet and greet, multiple costumed characters purportedly refused to shake her five-year-old daughter as well as niece’s hands.
The incident was captured on camera and since then, the nine-second clip has gone viral on the realms of social media platforms.
The video shows the Sesame Place employee dressed in the character of Rosita and high-fiving the other visitors, who happen to be white.
However, by the time the dressed character reaches Jodi’s daughter and niece, it pulls its hands away from the girl’s outstretched hands and gestures ‘no’, whilst walking away from the spot, leaving the little girls confused.
Jodi put the video on her Instagram account and captioned it:
I’m going to keep posting this, because this had me hot. We were on our way out of sesame place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters. 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. I asked the lady who the character was and I wanted to see a supervisor and she told me SHE DIDNT KNOW !! I will never step foot in @sesameplace ever again ! And please feel free to repost this. Actually run me my money back 😡🤬so mad I stopped the video but it got me so mad when he blatantly told them no
Reportedly, the complainant has also set up a Change.org page where she is demanding that Sesame Place and its parent company be held accountable for their racist employees. Until the last update, the petition had been signed by over 26,000 people.
After the controversy snowballed, Sesame Place released a statement issuing a clarification. “The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated by the misunderstanding. Performers sometimes miss requests for hugs because the costumes they wear make it difficult to see at lower levels.” stated the amusement park.
It’s been over 150 years since America passed the 13th amendment act but in practice, the legacy of racism continues to shadow the life of every black American. Whether it was an honest mistake from the performer or a deliberate attempt to whisk away the little girls, the fact that such incidents continue to transpire in America suggest that racism is well and alive and kicking.