The mother of a costumed character who appeared to disregard two Black children during a procession at Sesame Place in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, shared a video of the incident and claims the theme park’s explanation of it as a “misunderstanding” is insufficient. On Tuesday, Jodi Brown and her attorney claimed to CNN that Rosita from Sesame Street purposefully treated her niece and daughter in a discriminatory manner. Her daughter and niece can be seen reaching out to Rosita’s character in the nine-second Instagram video that Brown posted. In the footage, Rosita is seen giving others high-fives until she appears to point at an unnamed person, shakes her head at Brown’s daughter and niece, and then walks away.
Brown told CNN that Rosita purposefully neglected her daughter and niece while waddling around the parade route while giving high fives and bear hugs to other kids. Right after the character passed them, a young child of a different race was standing next to them, and [Rosita] hugged her, according to Brown. She claimed that the figure gave the other child a two-armed embrace. I had already stopped recording the video at that point. I paused the video because it made me angry and made me wonder, “What just happened? “
Sesame Place said in a new statement Tuesday night that they spoke with the family Sunday, apologised for the experience they had, reimbursed expenditures, and extended an invitation for a follow-up visit. In the statement, it is stated that “on Sunday we did communicate with and apologise to the family for the experience, offering a return trip for a meet and greet tailored encounter with the characters.” “We promised to cover the costs of her visit. Although it would not have been received yet, that reimbursement has been processed. When kids and families don’t feel special, recognised, and included in our park, it is unacceptable to us.
The statement reads, “Our entertainers work here to entertain and encourage all children—not to let any of them down.” “No youngster should ever feel overlooked or let down after leaving our park. The reverse of that is what our park hopes to instil in kids. Every child who visits the park should have a pleasant, fulfilling experience. We also promise to take every opportunity to learn from this experience and make the necessary adjustments. As previously mentioned, we will give Sesame Place staff members additional training to help them recognise and provide guests with an inclusive, egalitarian, and engaging experience.
Following the incident on Saturday, Brown posted a video, which soon sparked criticism. Initial statements from Sesame Place Philadelphia on Monday described the situation as a “misunderstanding.” “The actor who plays the role of Rosita has verified that the ‘no’ hand motion seen several times in the video was not directed at any particular person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo, which is not allowed. When CNN inquired about what the park meant by “misunderstanding,” Sesame Place Philadelphia sent CNN a “updated statement” that was also posted on Instagram on Monday night, saying: “We sincerely apologise to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday; we know that it’s not ok
. The Rosita performer did not intentionally ignore the girls and is devastated about the misunderstanding. In order to improve, we are taking action. We’re determined to make things right. We will train our staff members to better understand, recognise, and provide our visitors with a welcoming, equitable, and enjoyable experience.
“Sesame Place has worked to promote the principles of respect, inclusivity, and belonging for more than 40 years. We’re determined to do a better job of ensuring that kids and families visiting our parks feel unique, appreciated, and included.
The family’s attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, said that the park’s response was insufficient. The mother referred to the occurrence as “disgusting” in the video’s caption. I’ll never enter @sesameplace again, I swear! According to the mother known as Jodiii on Instagram. “And don’t hesitate to repost this, please. In fact, give me my money back.
LaMarr highlighted that he is still looking into what happened and exploring all of their options.At this point, LaMarr said, “We’re seeking for a sincere, real apology, admitting the pain that has been inflicted in the outrageousness of the actions and to do right, to make amends with the damage that’s been done to these two young girls.”
Brown claims that when she showed the employee near the park’s exit the footage of the incident, the employee informed her that there was no supervisor at the park she could speak to. “My daughter was only dejected. Mom, she enquired What have I done? I said, “What happened?” and you did nothing. Some folks are just plain cruel, said Brown. The company that owns the theme park’s licence, Sesame Workshop, also issued a statement on Monday evening, saying: “Sesame Workshop is aware of the recent situation at Sesame Place Philadelphia, which we take very seriously. What these kids went through was awful.
“We have spoken with Sesame Place, our licenced park partner, and they have informed us that they will complete bias training and a thorough evaluation of their methods of engaging with families and guests,” Sesame Workshop continued. A news conference with additional information is scheduled for Wednesday with Brown and LaMaar. In response, Kelly Rowland and others The video has gained widespread attention and sparked concern over the disparity in treatment, especially from Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child. Rowland reposted the mother’s video to her Instagram account, saying the incident enraged her.