Sesame Place is facing accusations of racism after a viral video went viral at a Pennsylvania theme park last weekend in which an employee made disparaging remarks about two black girls.
Advocates for Sesame Street stated that the incident may have been an unintentional one-time incident, but several other clips have surfaced showing the same problematic behavior.
The videos – several of which were recorded by other black Pennsylvania park goers in recent weeks – were posted to the popular Instagram account @frobabies, which asked the question, “Is this a pattern?”
The Post has reached out to Sesame Place for comment.
One heartbreaking video shows an agitated black boy being ignored by an employee dressed as Sesame Street’s Rosita – the same character who insulted black girls in the original viral clip.
The boy’s mom, Sydney Moore, told The Post that she and her family flew in from North Carolina specifically to visit the Sesame Place, as Sesame Street is her 2-year-old son’s “favorite show”.
“It was heartbreaking,” Moore said of the moment Rosita snubbed her baby. “Seeing the look on my son’s face after being ignored and ignored was devastating. He didn’t understand why Rosita hadn’t given him a high five, or at least waved at him.
Moore said that she later consoled her son by saying, “I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him.”
The incident is not isolated: the @frobabies account shared two other shocking clips in which Rosita also ignores black children.
“On June 24, the family stood with their [black children] and it looks like they are being ignored as well,” account owner @frobabies wrote under one of the videos.
Another irate parent told @frobabies, “She [Rosita] ignored [my daughter] Lola TWICE last Sunday (July 10). Lola ran up to her with the words “ROSITA!” The character struggled to change course and immediately afterwards hugged and posed for a photo with a little white girl. Explore this pattern.”
It seems that Rosita’s disdain for black children has not been limited to recent weeks.
One person sent in footage of his black niece trying in vain to hug the doll, who instead leaned over to give the white child a warm hug.
“It was 2019 before the pandemic!!” sender wrote.
However, Rosita doesn’t seem to be the only Sesame Place character to display problematic behavior towards black patrons in the park.
A separate cutscene shows the character Honker aggressively approaching a black toddler before pushing her to the ground.
“I was furious that day, waiting for hours for a manager who never showed up,” an unnamed parent of @frobabies said. “In the end, we left. After watching all these videos, I’m pretty sure this was done on purpose. It should be a safe/child friendly environment. It’s terrible when these people hide behind their costumes and hurt these kids. They love these characters, it’s sad!”
Meanwhile, on Facebook, a Philadelphia woman shared a video of Sesame Street character Bert “slapping” a black girl in a park.
“I’m still waiting for answers after your character hit my little cousin!!” wrote a Facebook user tagging Sesame Place.
The Post contacted those who recorded the video at Sesame Place for more information, as well as the theme park, which did not address the problematic new clips.
However, in a statement released on Tuesday, the company promised to provide training for its employees following the original viral video, which was first released over the weekend.
“We sincerely apologize to the family for what they spent in our park on Saturday; we know this is not normal,” the statement said. “We will provide training for our staff to better understand, recognize and provide an inclusive, fair and fun experience for our guests.”
According to TMZ, the family of the two girls has hired a lawyer to investigate the situation and potentially take legal action.
B’Ivory Lamarr’s family lawyer told TMZ they wanted to interview other people who were present and evaluate other Rosita videos that have surfaced online showing similar situations.
“While we hate to be quick to judge by considering ‘race’ as a motivating factor to explain the performer’s actions, such actions both before and after the young girl’s request lead to only one conclusion,” Lamarr said.
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